(FOX 9) - An NFL executive says fans should expect a very different football broadcast as the 2020 season kicks off Thursday night.
He said wide camera shots packed with cheering fans, cheerleaders, mascots and sideline reporters are a few elements we won’t see this season. However, he said to keep an eye out for some additions in their place.
“No doubt, this whole season, will be different as it has the last six months, but we think the energy is there. We can’t wait to start up,” said Peter O’Reilly, the NFL’s Executive Vice President for Club Business and League Events.
He said he’s confident in the season due to health and safety protocols that are in place for week one and beyond.
The National Anthem and other musical performances are being pre-recorded in order to limit people on or near the fields.
Thursday night, the Chiefs are one of five teams allowing a limited number of fans into Arrowhead Stadium with pod seating and masks mandatory.
The rest of football fans will be watching from home as audio technicians working to make the game sound as authentic as possible, despite social distancing and empty seats.
“I think if you closed your eyes and listen to any of the games, it will feel and sound the same,” said O’Reilly.
Plus, he says, look to the end zones for what he is calling the “Showtime” camera.
“You’ll be able to have players after a big play, a touchdown or interception, actually interact with fans on LED screen. You’ve seen, obviously, what the NBA has done, but here I think you’ll have some interaction between players and fans in real time.”
Also in the end zones, there will be a spot light on social justice, with one end zone saying “It Takes All of Us” and the other saying, “End Racism.”
When the Vikings and Packers take the field at U.S. Bank Stadium Sunday, O’Reilly expects the league will already have tackled challenges they encounter Thursday. They will have learned a lot on every front, including what works and what doesn’t.
VIKINGS ON FOX 9
Sunday football is back and FOX 9 will be your gameday destination this season, especially for in-depth coverage of the Minnesota Vikings. From pre-game analysis, live game action, to breaking down the biggest highlights of the day - you can catch it all on FOX 9.
It all kicks off Sunday, Sept. 13. Check out this Sunday's sports lineup on FOX 9:
VIKINGS SUNDAY LINEUP ON FOX 9
9:30 a.m. Vikings Gameday LIVE on FOX 9 and streaming at fox9.com/live
11 a.m. - FOX NFL Sunday
12 p.m. - Vikings vs. Packers on FOX 9 from U.S. Bank Stadium
3:25 p.m. - Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints
6:30 p.m. - The OT
10:35 p.m. - Vikings Postgame Tonight
You can also stream the Vikings-Packers and Bucs-Saints on the new FOX Sports App.