CLEVELAND, Ohio — Without the usual packed stadium, downtown Cleveland was quite subdued Thursday night for the Cleveland Browns’ home opener at FirstEnergy Stadium. Only 6,000 fans were admitted into the stadium due to coronavirus restrictions.
“It’s a little eerie, there’s nobody here at all, there’s no fans, there’s no tailgating, but we’re still looking forward to a different experience,” said Brian Moore of Columbus, who was there with his son, Parker. Moore is not a season ticket holder and said got tickets online through the Browns website.
To keep things going smoothly and allow for social distancing, ticket holders were given a recommended entry time and a specific entry gate depending on the location of their seat.
Vendors on Cleveland streets were still located on their usual corners, selling their Cleveland Browns merchandise, and many fans stopped to take a look at the goods, as well as purchase a few souvenirs, including Browns face masks.
And, although tailgating was not allowed at the Muni Lot or the Burke Airport parking area, The Pit parking lot on West 3rd Street was allowing tailgating groups of 10 or less people.
“I brought a red cup and a beer, so I’m all set,” said Joe Adams of Strongsville, who was tailgating alone in his Prius in The Pit as he waited for friends to arrive. Adams is a season ticket holder who has been tailgating in the same spot in the Muni Lot for the past nine years, but was just happy he was able to get tickets.
Once the game started, the streets around the stadium emptied, but Browns fans who didn’t have tickets were hanging around the bars and restaurants, mainly along West 6th Avenue in the Warehouse District.
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