New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has decided not to grant an exception to a public safety executive order to the New York Giants and New York Jets, forcing both teams to play home games without fans in attendance.
The pre-existing order limits large, outdoor public gatherings in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus.
The teams – which both call MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey home – issued a joint statement confirming the news on Monday.
Joint Statement from the Giants and Jets pic.twitter.com/e8MGmXpimv— New York Giants (@Giants) July 20, 2020
"We support Governor Murphy's decision in the interest of public health and safety," the statement said.
"Although we would prefer to have fans at MetLife Stadium for our games, we will continue to work with Governor Murphy's office and will provide updates if necessary."
The teams also announced that their training camps will be closed to the public as a cautionary measure.
"We urge our fans to continue to take the necessary precautions recommended by health officials to stay safe and we look forward to seeing you at MetLife Stadium as soon as possible," the statement said.
The Giants' and Jets' situation stands in contrast to teams like the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars who have announced plans to fill their stadiums to 20 or 25 per cent capacity with other safety protocols in place.
MetLife Stadium opened in 2010 and has a seating capacity of 82,500.
The New York-New Jersey area has been among the hardest hit by COVID-19 in the United States, with the Centers for Disease Control reporting nearly 220,000 confirmed cases in the New York City area.