HOUSTON (SportsRadio 610) — The Houston Texans have been approved to host up to 13,300 fans at NRG Stadium when they face the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.
Seating will be at about 20 percent capacity.
All fans (age 10 and older) and staff will be required to wear masks except while actively eating or drinking and everyone will be required to maintain physical distancing of at least six feet apart beginning in the parking lot, at the entry gates and throughout NRG Stadium.
There will be no tailgating for home games at this time, the team announced.
The Texans had been working with city and county leadership for approval, due to health concerns with the coronavirus pandemic.
This would be the first major sporting event in Houston to have fans in attendance since UH beat Memphis at the Fertitta Center in March.
The Texans (0-3) have played only one game with fans this season — the opener against the Kansas City Chiefs, who hosted roughly 16,000 fans on Sept. 10.
Cleaning standards have been upgraded at the stadium to allow for physical distancing. Texans president Jamey Rootes said 500 sanitizing stations have been installed across NRG, tickets for entry will be mobile and staggered, and transactions will be touchless and cashless.
“The important thing is this entity, the Houston Texans, it means a lot to our community. It means a lot to our fans, and particularly the fans that will be coming out to this game, their lives wouldn’t be the same without it,” Texans president Jamey Rootes said earlier this month. “So, we do feel a responsibility to get it right, but we also see ourselves as caretakers of a community asset. Season ticket number 56431 can’t do anything about games being hosted at NRG Stadium, although they want it to happen. We can. So, it’s our responsibility to make it available.”
Rootes said the team prioritized season ticket holders, then a waitlist of about 31,000.
“Beyond there, it will be, to the extent that they’re still available, they’ll be made available to the general public,” Rootes said. “But you’re not going to see us screaming from the mountain top. We only want people to come who want to come. This is your decision. We’re making it available because it just feels right when there is a big group of the population that wants to participate in this. It’s really our responsibility to do our level best to make it available to them and make it safe for them to participate.”
The Vikings (0-3) also bring a winless record into NRG Stadium on Sunday.
It will also be the rare occasion in which all three head coaches in Texans history are coaching in the same game, in the same building.
Dom Capers, the Texans’ original coach from 2002 to 2005, is now a defensive assistant for the Vikings.
Gary Kubiak, a Houston native who coached the team from 2006 to 2013, is now the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator for the Vikings.