Detroit Lions with no home-field advantage for start of 2020 season
After announcing that no fans will be able to attend games through October, the Detroit Lions are now left with no outside variable to rattle opponents.
The Detroit Lions announced Friday that fans will not be able to attend home games until November at the earliest. In times like this, safety is obviously the number one priority. But at the same time, that comes with a cost, that being the loss of home-field advantage.
In one of my previous articles, I talked about how reduced capacity would hurt the Lions. But now, with no fans at all for essentially half the season, Detroit basically has no home-field advantage whatsoever.
While playing in an enclosed dome has it perks, one downside of it is that you lose one big factor of home-field advantage – weather. The elements tend to be a factor of home-field advantage that goes overlooked. Which honestly is surprising considering weather is something that can change a game more than the crowd.
I would much rather play a brisk, November night game in Los Angeles rather than a freezing blizzard in Green Bay. I also would rather attempt a game-winning field goal in Denver rather than in Chicago. The list of scenarios just goes on and on.
While yes, playing in a dome is already better than playing outdoors, every NFL team is comfortable playing at room temperature. There’s no “getting used to it” process for the away team as there is for playing in more extreme elements.
Crowd noise is what Lions fans take pride in. The ability to echo noise inside of the enclosed dome and make it difficult for the road team to function properly is an amazing feeling. But now, there won’t be any of that happening for at least half of the season.
There may be a chance for artificial crowd noise to be pumped into the stadium (seems like Atlanta was already thinking ahead in 2014). But I’m sure the NFL will put a limit on how much a team can use, as well as what times they’re able to use it. Even if they are able to utilize artificial crowd noise, it just doesn’t have the same effect as real, screaming human beings.
Hopefully, Detroit will grow accustomed to the altered stadium atmosphere and it won’t be that much of a hindrance down the stretch. At the end of the day, they still got to go out there and put on a solid product for the security guards at the stadium, and the fans watching on TV.