As we continue to adjust to what appears to be the normal for the foreseeable future; the NFL Gameday experience is definitely different than what we’re used too.
With the entering of stadium property you typically see people tailgating. Sometimes people will start tailgating as soon as five hours before kickoff depending on when the team establishes to open the Parking lot. With COVID protocol you miss all of the unique tailgating set ups.
It was almost like a Ghost town. Halloween came early as the set ups were missing. Tailgating can be more fun than the game itself depending on who you surround yourself with.
As we entered the Stadium the lines were quick and easy going inside as the stadium capacity was greatly reduced. The mask rule was strictly enforced starting with going inside. After we entered the stadium we looked at some of the attractions.
The positives here is that you can get your pictures with the attractions rather painlessly because the wait times were that much shorter. After we got the pictures we looked inside the team store before the game for Gameday pins.
Unfortunately, there were none that were made due to the uncertainty of this game, and the amount of people that were going to attend.
Once we got inside the stadium we end up going to see concessions, and walked around the lower levels to see all the various cutouts. The concession lines were short, and the bathroom lines were much more manageable.
Every other urinal was closed to practice social distancing. I saw cutouts of some of my good friends that were fans of the Texans. Even though some of them didn’t attend due to the COVID concerns, I got the next best thing pictures with their cutouts for the ones that I recognized. It was definitely different seeing warm ups from the stands vs on the sidelines.
As more people came inside the stadium, it was unusual not seeing a full house.
Normally you’re inside a full house with 70,000 fans screaming their heads off just like you, however this time I don’t even think all 13,000 seats were filled.
It didn’t look like 13,000 people were inside the stadium that day. The main advantage that I noticed is that I had a clear view of the game whether I was sitting or standing. The Mask protocols were strictly enforced.
The staff members on site were watching people like hawks; if you didn’t have it on for 5 seconds they would walk towards you, and signal the mask to be worn. The exception to that rule was eating or drinking. Thankfully I had a water bottle with me so I can take a break from the mask for approx. a minute or two.
A smaller crowd met less noise. It’s definitely not your typical noise factor inside the stadium that gets your adrenaline pumping. Some noise is better than no noise however the atmosphere was flat compared to a normal Gameday.
After the game you would usually have a chance to receive Gameday goodies from players. We weren’t allowed to go by the tunnel this go around. The Texans were well organized with letting even sections leave before the odd sections to practice social distancing.
Overall it was extremely structured compared to a loose Gameday experience.
- Witness a live football game
- Shared the Gameday experience with a friend
- Short lines where ever you went
- Seeing my favorite squad inside a different stadium
- Creating more memories
- Well organized with specific situations
- No Tailgating
- No Gameday exclusives I.E Pins. That could change
- Flatter atmosphere than normal
- No postgame interaction
Would I do it again? Short answer Yes, long answer maybe.