Here's the offseason Packers news you've been anxiously waiting for (what, is there something else going on I'm forgetting?): According to reports, the NFL has cleared a vast majority of its teams – including Green Bay – to open their stadiums at full capacity to start the 2021-22 season.
As first reported by NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, 30 of the league's 32 teams were told Tuesday during a conference call by NFL Executive VP of Club Business and League Events, Peter O’Reilly that they would be allowed to open at 100 percent fan capacity by August. The only two teams who weren't given the OK from the league were the Denver Broncos and the Indianapolis Colts – but according to Pelissero, both of those teams are on their way to approval as well.
Rules on masking and vaccinations will be dictated by teams in concert with state and local guidelines, not by the NFL. But with 100% capacity expected at all stadiums, covered seats and pods will be gone. The league continues to encourage everyone to get vaccinated. — Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) May 25, 2021
The team itself has yet to officially announce its plans for the upcoming season, either in regards to Lambeau Field capacity or mask/vaccination policies – the latter of which will be decided by individual teams in coordination with state and local guidelines, according to Pelissero. However, with this news, the gradual dropping of mask mandates and capacity limits thanks to plummeting COVID-19 numbers, and the Milwaukee Brewers already given the OK to increase fans at American Family Field to 100 percent on June 25 – and even the Bucks now at 50 percent indoors – one can expect the stands at Lambeau Field to look and sound much more like normal this impending season.
During last year's COVID-impacted NFL season, the Packers went most of the regular season schedule without fans in the stands save for a very limited number of employees and frontline workers near the end of the season as well as around 6,000 fans in attendance for the team's two playoff games at Lambeau Field.
In addition to 100 percent capacity back in the stands, according to Pelissero, the NFL expects that fans will also be allowed to attend training camp, in accordance with state and local COVID guidelines, when it begins in late July. Protocols are still being finalized involving fan proximity and interactions with players – so maybe don't get your bike out of the garage quite yet for the traditional Green Bay bike rides – but stay tuned.
So now that we know if we'll be able to watch the Packers in person this upcoming season, it's just a question of who we'll be watching on the field come this fall – one very particular "who" that just might be on vacation somewhere in the Pacific right now, hanging out with the stars of "Whiplash" and "Divergent." Weird times ...
As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.
When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.