NFL Teams Offering Drive-Ins to Lure Fans
With the NFL season still months away and teams opting out of spring workouts, many fans are wondering when the next time will be that they can feel a part of the action. Meanwhile, many teams and stadium owners are wondering what they can do with all that expensive property and no one using it. Recently, a few teams came up with some creative solutions.
In Miami, the Dolphins are inviting fans to come out to Hard Rock Stadium to watch movies. They’ve converted the venue into a drive-in and an open-air movie theater. According to the Associated Press, the stadium’s drive-in will accommodate up to 230 cars, and other guests can enjoy a “more intimate” viewing experience on the plaza. According to press releases, the team will show “classic Miami Dolphins content” and “family-friendly” movies. All social distancing guidelines in place will be followed.
CEO Tom Garfinkel said the team was responding to a community need, adding: “It’s a fundamental human need to physically experience and celebrate events and experiences together. We’re trying to provide options for everyone where they can be safely socially distant and socially present at the same time…”
Meanwhile, in Tampa, promoters are working with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to host events at Raymond James Stadium. At least, in the parking lot, for the time being. The company, called Big Bounce America, is planning a host of different events including drive-in movies, karaoke, trivia, comedy, and even DJ battles. According to a press release from Big Bounce, “Running through the day each Saturday and Sunday (these events) will feature entertainment for a family audience… a fun, safe day out for the entire family…”
Planners are not sure how successful these debut events will be, but the teams are hoping getting fans out to the stadiums will break the ice in anticipation of the coming NFL seasons. Teams and the league are tentatively planning to play their games in front of fans, but that could change as new information comes in about COVID-19. League officials are reportedly monitoring the situation very closely, hoping to get all the information they can to make educated decisions related to the season.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had this to say when the league released its upcoming schedule: “In preparing to play the season as scheduled, we will continue to make our decisions based on the latest medical and public health advice in compliance with government regulations, and with appropriate safety protocols to protect the health of our fans, players, club, and league personnel… We will be prepared to make adjustments as necessary…”
So, fans have a reason to be optimistic and, in the meantime, maybe some of them in Florida can catch a movie or see a show while they wait for the teams to take the field this August.