Giants and Jets home games at MetLife Stadium will return to full capacity in 2021, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced Monday.
The Giants and Jets played in front of an empty stadium in 2020 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now fans are allowed back in.
Friday marks the return to full capacity for all events at MetLife Stadium.
“MetLife Stadium, the New York Jets and the New York Giants are very excited with Governor Murphy’s announcement today that will allow events to return at full capacity as of May 28,” read a statement from MetLife Stadium officials. “We extend our gratitude and appreciation to Governor Murphy and his staff for their leadership and guidance throughout the pandemic.
“We are currently reviewing stadium policies and protocols as our commitment to the health and safety of our guests and staff remains our top priority,” the statement continued.
The official statement said that Giants and Jets gameday fan protocols will be communicated prior to the 2021 NFL football season.
“We are thrilled by Governor Murphy’s announcement today to have MetLife Stadium operate at full capacity for the 2021 season,” the Giants and Jets said in a joint statement. “We can’t wait to welcome our fans back, creating the gameday atmosphere we have all been missing. We will continue to work to ensure the return of fans is accomplished in a safe and responsible way.”
Prior to the May 28 policy shift, mask and physical distancing protocols will remain in place for the Seton Hall University graduation on Tuesday and the Berkeley College’s commencements on Thursday.
The first NFL game back at MetLife Stadium will pit the Giants and Jets against each other in their preseason opener sometime between Aug. 12-16. The exact date and time haven’t been announced.
The Giants will open their regular season at MetLife Stadium in Week 1 against the Denver Broncos on Sept. 12 at 4:25 p.m. The Jets’ home opener will come in Week 2 against the New England Patriots on Sept. 19 at 1 p.m.
Monday was the first day of OTA practices (10 total) for teams in Phase III of the offseason prior to a three-day mandatory minicamp in June.
Giants wideout Sterling Shepard told the Daily News last week that he is “super excited to have the fans.”
“That’s where the energy comes from,” Shepard said. “The No. 1 thing that stands out to me from last year is it’s not so much in the game — I’m always really locked in, so I don’t really pay too much attention to the fans. But running out of the tunnel is one of my favorite things on gameday, having the fans yell pretty loud. So not having that was something I was missing. And I’m excited to get back to it.”