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NFL OKs fans to attend camps; 30 teams to have full stadium capacity

Fans take pictures in the midst of cardboard cutouts due to COVID regulations before the start of Super Bowl LV in Tampa, Fl., on February 7, 2021. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Fans take pictures in the midst of cardboard cutouts due to COVID regulations before the start of Super Bowl LV in Tampa, Fl., on February 7, 2021. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

May 25 (UPI) -- The NFL will allow fans to attend training camps this summer after the COVID-19 pandemic forced teams to hold practices behind closed doors last year.

The league informed clubs Tuesday that teams will start training camp in unison for the first time, with 29 squads set to report July 27. Plans for fan events and league-wide practices will follow July 31.

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"It won't likely look exactly the same as a normal training camp as far as proximity to players and autographs and some of the other things," said Peter O'Reilly, the NFL's executive vice president of club business and league events. "But we're excited to be able to communicate that fans will be able to enjoy an accessible part of the calendar."

The remaining three teams -- the Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- will be allowed to open camp earlier because they are participating in the Hall of Fame preseason game or the Sept. 9 regular-season opener.

Also Tuesday, league officials told ESPN and NFL Media that all but two teams have received approval from state and local governments to open their stadiums at full capacity when the season begins.

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O'Reilly said the league "feels good about the path" for the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos, who are still working with local officials to receive authorization for full capacity.

Moving forward, rules related to face coverings and vaccinations will be determined by teams in conjunction with state and local guidelines.

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