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To prepare for a scenario in which fans are allowed into venues during the 2020 NFL campaign, the Miami Dolphins have developed strategies for how to host games at Hard Rock Stadium during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While appearing on "Good Morning America" on Monday, Dolphins president and CEO Tom Garfinkel revealed mock-ups of new stadium entrance points that would help the team comply with social distance guidelines.
"We would have times to come in for security at different gates so people would be separated out in terms of when they enter the stadium," Garfinkel said, according to ESPN's Cameron Wolfe. "We would exit the stadium much like a church environment where each row exits so people aren't filing out all at the same time in a herd."
The plans, which are the first revealed by an NFL team for 2020, also include hosting just 15,000 fans for games - Hard Rock Stadium usually holds roughly 65,000 - and designated spots on the ground leading up to gates that indicate the distance required between people as they enter.
Additionally, Hard Rock Stadium recently became the first public facility to earn Global Biorisk Advisory Council accreditation, which is used to implement cleaning, disinfecting, and infectious disease prevention practices to control risks such as spreading the coronavirus.
"When our fans, players, and staff are able to return to Hard Rock Stadium, we want them to have peace of mind that we're doing everything we can to create the safest and healthiest environment possible," Garfinkel said. "We didn't want to create our own standard, we wanted to be accountable to the most credible third-party standard that exists.
"Working with the GBAC ensures compliances with critical guidelines for the highest standard of cleanliness and it is our hope that other venues will follow suit as we navigate through these unprecedented times."
The NFL is still evaluating when team facilities can reopen amid the pandemic. Buildings will remain closed until every state holding a team lifts its stay-at-home mandate.
The league is still planning to release a full 17-week schedule for 2020 but is also preparing contingency plans in case the start of the season is delayed.