Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones Has Plans to 'Increase' Fans in Stands Despite Surging COVID Numbers
Texas recently became the first state in the U.S. to surpass 1 million COVID cases
Jerry Jones is calling for more fans to attend Dallas Cowboys' home games, despite the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Texas — and across the nation.
On Tuesday, while speaking to 105.3 The Fan radio in Dallas, the 78-year-old owner of the Dallas Cowboys spoke openly about getting more fans to attend games at AT&T Stadium amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Despite cases of the virus growing across the country, Jones applauded both his team and the team's fans for how they have gone about attending games in-person throughout the current football season. "We do it safely, we do it smartly," he said, according to ABC-affiliate WFAA.
Applauding what he described as his own plan, Jones continued, "My plan was to increase our fans as we went through the season and move the numbers up. We followed that plan and we've almost a third of the attendance in the NFL, the whole NFL in our games."
"I’m proud of that," he added. "Our stadium is particularly suited for airiness, openness, air circulation, and its borne out."
Jones' football team currently "leads the NFL in attendance in 2020, averaging 25,750 fans per game," WFAA reported.
The outlet adds that during the Cowboys' home game against the Atlanta Falcons earlier this year, "there were 21,708 fans in attendance" before "that number increased to 31,700 in their fifth home game" which took place on Nov. 8.
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According to CNN, Texas is currently "averaging 9,842 new cases per day over the last week, second in the nation behind Illinois" and recently became the first state in the U.S. to surpass 1 million cases, according to the databases from the New York Times and John Hopkins University.
The grim milestone means that Texas has now seen more coronavirus cases than the entire country of Italy, which was considered a COVID-19 hotspot before the nation entered into a lockdown.
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But still, Jones told the Texas radio show that the Cowboys are taking plenty of precautions to prevent a COVID-19 spread among players, staff and other personnel who come in contact with the team.
"I really am being very careful; never thought in a million years when this thing came out three or four months ago I just wouldn't accept the fact that we were going to have to change our lives and think about not having some fans and think about not having a normal season, was unthinkable," Jones said. "Well, guess what? It is thinkable because we're doing it."
Jones also addressed concerns from both fans and critics alike that his comments about increasing attendance at games could be seen as insensitive as the area's COVID-19 cases continue to rise.
"That’s not being insensitive to the fact that we’ve got COVID, an outbreak, some people say, 'well maybe it is,'” Jones added. "No, not when you’re doing it as safe as we are and not when you’re having the results we’re having. Literally, we’ve had no one report that they’ve had contact and gotten any contact with COVID from coming to our football games. No one."