At the start of August 2020, the state of Ohio released an order that included the language, “Spectators are not permitted at the contact sports competitive inter-club/team play,” which defined contact sports as the following: football, basketball, rugby, field hockey, soccer, lacrosse, wrestling, hockey, boxing, futsal and martial arts.
The order means that even if the Cleveland Browns wanted to open their stadium up to a limited number of fans, they can’t. The order could be amended prior to the start of the football season, or part-way into the season, but that is where things stand right now.
This past week, SB Nation Reacts ran a national poll asking about the gameday elements that should continue in 2020, and whether players should tone down their touchdown celebrations this year.
As the poll stands now, most of the things wouldn’t apply to fans in Ohio, who would have to be watching from home. If 20,000 fans were able to attend games, I don’t think there should be live halftime entertainment. That means you’re putting another group of people on the field who have to be tested, going in the same spaces where the players will be going. Halftime entertainment should be filmed remotely and displayed on the big board, along with any other entertainment.
If things are exclusively at home, then giveaways seem like the best way to keep fans entertained, along with asking for video reactions to big plays, compiling fan tweets, etc. The NBA has done a great job with their video boards of fans, but that only seems doable in that type of environment (smaller facility, indoors).
Regarding the touchdown celebrations, I don’t expect players to tone things down. They won’t have the need to jump in the crowd any more, but will surely get their creative juices flowing or pander to the camera, knowing fans are watching at home.