Chiefs first team to hold training camp practice with fans amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Kansas City Chiefs held training camp in front of about 2,000 fans at Arrowhead Stadium on Saturday morning, marking the first time this season that a team in the league has done so amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The practice, the Chiefs’ ninth of training camp, was open to a select group of season-ticket holders who had to wear a mask and practice social distancing the entire time. They are planning to hold another practice that is open to fans next week, too.

“It was good to have an opportunity to get out there today, had a few fans there,” Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy said, via the Kansas City Star. “The organization has done a great job of making sure they’re doing it the right way, giving the fans an opportunity to participate. They brought some energy. I know the guys felt it; they were vibing off that energy.”

There were more than 5.6 million confirmed cases of the virus as of Saturday afternoon, according to The New York Times, and more than 175,000 deaths attributed to it. It has forced teams to implement countless new safety procedures during camps, too, including on-site testing, social distancing requirements, virtual meetings and more.

Many teams, including the Chiefs, are already planning to only allow a small number of fans to attend games this fall. Kansas City is expected to allow about 22 percent capacity inside Arrowhead Stadium, which is about 17,000 fans. Several teams have decided not to let any fans in at all.

“I think 17,000 is going to be pretty loud,” Chiefs center Austin Reiter said, via the Star. “I think definitely there’s noise there, which would be nice. A quiet game is probably going to be a little awkward, but I’m pretty excited because I think we’re definitely going to have some good noise there with the limited capacity we’ll have.”

Arrowhead Stadium training camp showing players on the field and fans spread out in the stands.
About 2,000 season-ticket holders showed up to Arrowhead Stadium for a Chiefs practice on Saturday morning. (Charlie Riedel/AP)

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