Indianapolis Colts announce changes to game day experience

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INDIANAPOLIS – Owner Jim Irsay has addressed the unprecedented situation facing the NFL and his Indianapolis Colts’ fan base with a letter to season-ticket holders.

Along with pointing out various game-day protocols and guidelines that will be in place as the nation deals with the COVID-19 pandemic – many still lack details at this time – Irsay said the team still is “in the process of developing our overall plan as it relates to our Season Ticket Members.

“This will include a fair and equitable way to offer you these limited seating options and a fan-friendly way to defer to next year and reserve your current seats for the 2021 season.’’

A few teams already have given their fan base the option of deferring season tickets for this season to 2021.

Irsay said a team representative will contact season-ticket holders in the coming weeks with details on how “changes’’ will be managed.

With the NFL already reducing the normal four-game preseason to two games, the Colts are scheduled to open the preseason Aug. 24 against Washington at Lucas Oil Stadium. They’re at Buffalo Aug. 29. They open the regular season Sept. 13 at Jacksonville before the Sept. 20 home opener against Minnesota.

In following guidelines set down by the NFL, Irsay’s letter to his fan base noted the league “is instituting some significant changes to the gameday experience that will affect all of us.” That includes:

  • A modified preseason schedule,
  • Reduced stadium capacity that complies with CDC guidelines for social distancing,
  • Tarps being placed over the eight rows nearest the field as an increased safety measure for football personnel and fans,
  • A food and beverage experience that minimizes person-to-person contact,
  • An adjusted game presentation that eliminates non-essential personnel on the playing field, and
  • Additional health and safety protocols, including face coverings.

You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.

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