The Ravens on Monday announced that fans won’t be permitted at M&T Bank Stadium for Sunday’s home game against the Tennessee Titans, citing rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Maryland.
“After consulting with the offices of Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and Baltimore Mayor Bernard 'Jack’ Young, in addition to public health officials — including MedStar Health — the decision has been made not to host fans for this Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans,” the team said in a statement.
“In giving the matter careful consideration, and with the rise of Maryland’s COVID-19 infection rate and increased hospitalizations, the Ravens believe this decision is the correct one in helping protect the well-being and safety of our community.”
Maryland’s health department on Monday reported at least 1,000 coronavirus cases for the sixth consecutive day. The number of people reported hospitalized with virus complications was 985, an increase from 529 just two weeks ago.
The state’s seven-day average case rate per 100,000 people has nearly doubled from two weeks ago, up to 28.2 through Sunday from 13.86 as of Nov. 1.
The Ravens opened the season Sept. 13 without fans but Hogan, a Republican, loosened coronavirus restrictions in September, allowing up to 250 people to enter outdoor venues. The team allowed family members of players, coaches and other team personnel to sit in the stands.
Hogan loosened more restrictions in October, allowing outdoor venues to permit spectators at up to 10% of their maximum capacity. Young, the outgoing Democrat mayor, later announced that he would permit about 3,000 fewer fans in M&T Bank Stadium.
The Ravens hosted just one game with fans, a 28-24 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Nov. 2. A total of 4,345 fans were in attendance at M&T Bank Stadium, which holds a maximum capacity of 71,000. After playing the Titans on Sunday, the Ravens play at Pittsburgh on Thanksgiving night on Nov. 26 before hosting the Dallas Cowboys for “Thursday Night Football” on Dec. 3.
According to a team spokesperson, Ravens family members, who had been the first spectators allowed back in, will also not be permitted to attend under the new policy.
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Baltimore Sun reporters Ben Leonard and Jonas Shaffer contributed to this story.