A new report from NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero says that the NFL has cleared its teams to bring fans back to their training camps this summer — which opens the door for fans to watch the Kansas City Chiefs during their training camp at Missouri Western State College in St. Joseph, Missouri.
Welcome back! The NFL told clubs on a call today it expects fans to return to training camp this summer, subject to state and local guidelines, according to the league's executive VP of club business and league events, Peter O’Reilly.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) May 25, 2021
Of course... all teams will still have to abide by the state and local guidelines in the areas where their training camps are located. So we’re still going to have to wait for an official announcement from the team that training camp will be back to some kind of normal.
We say “some kind of normal” because Pelissero also says that the league is still working with the NFLPA to work out some details regarding proximity to players, autographs and so on.
O’Reilly said the NFL is still finalizing protocols with the NFLPA and camps may look different in terms of proximity to players, autographs, etc. But with plans already in motion to have stadiums at 100% capacity, fans’ return to camp is another big step towards normality.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) May 25, 2021
So it’s likely that the 2021 training camp experience will be at least somewhat different than it was before the coronavirus pandemic; we’ll have to wait for the Chiefs to give us an official word about how these things will play out in St. Joseph. But any kind of training camp with Chiefs fans in attendance will be a significant step towards normal.
According to Pelissero, all teams except those participating in the Hall of Fame game and the Thursday night opening of the 2021 season (the Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers) will begin their training camps on the same day: Tuesday, July 27.
For the first time, the NFL will have a unified start to training camp, with 29 teams set to report Tuesday, July 27 -- 47 days before the Sunday of Week 1, as allowed by the CBA -- and plans for league-wide practices and fan events Saturday, July 31.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) May 25, 2021
Midsummer Madness, anyone?
This means that the first Chiefs training camp session open to the public is likely to be Saturday, July 31. So mark your calendar!