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Washington’s NFL team to play home games without fans this season

FedEx Field's stands will be empty for Washington's games this year, at least to begin the season. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

NFL games at FedEx Field this season will be played without fans in the stands, the Washington Football Team announced Wednesday morning.

Throughout the novel coronavirus pandemic, the team had been hoping to have some fans at its home games this fall, but after working with Maryland and Prince George's County officials to come up with a health and safety plan for the team’s games at the stadium, a decision was made to play in an empty stadium “out of an abundance of caution,” the team said in a statement.

Several other teams, including the New York Giants, New York Jets and Las Vegas Raiders, have already said they will play without fans at home games this year.

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“The wellbeing of those supporters, along with that of our players, coaches and each and every member of our gameday staff is simply too important, and the current knowledge of COVID-19 too unpredictable, to welcome our fan base to FedExField to start the season,” Washington owner Daniel Snyder said in the statement, referring to the disease caused by the coronavirus.

The team added that the policy could be reevaluated during the season if conditions change and it becomes safer for fans to be in the stands.

Last month, the team offered season ticket holders the option of full refunds on their 2020 tickets or to defer their plan to 2021 and receive an account credit.

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