Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, whose team leads “the world” in attendance this season, wants to ramp up attendance even as the COVID-19 outbreak worsens in the county AT&T Stadium calls home.
Tarrant County set a single-day record Wednesday with 2,112 new cases of COVID-19. The state of Texas now has more than a million cases.
“My plan was to increase our fans as we went through the season, and move the numbers up,” Jones said this week on 105.3 The Fan. “We followed that plan. We’ve had almost a third of the attendance in the NFL, the whole NFL, at our games. I’m proud of that. Our stadium is particularly suited for airiness, openness, air circulation, and it’s borne out. We had over 30,000 out there the other day against Pittsburgh. And, so, that I’m very proud of the fact that we do it safely. We do it smartly. Our fans are really helpful to say the very least playing in front of those fans. And I see a continued aggressive approach to having fans out there. We’ll see. That’s not being insensitive to the fact that we’ve got our COVID and outbreak, and some people say maybe it is. But, no, not when you’re doing it as safe as we are and not when we’re having the results we’re having. We’ve had literally, literally no one report that they’ve had a contact and gotten any contact from COVID from coming to our football game. No one.”
However, a Tarrant County spokesperson said this week that eight people who tested positive for COVID-19 told contact tracers they were at AT&T Stadium in Arlington before contracting the virus, according to WFAA.
AT&T Stadium officials told the TV station that county health officials have not notified them of any contract tracing that included people who attended an event in the facility. Tarrant County said the numbers don’t mean the people contracted the virus at the stadium, only that they told tracers they had been in the stadium before later testing positive.
The dates provided by health officials — one on Oct. 4, three on Oct. 11, three on Oct. 19 and one on Nov. 8 — coincide with Cowboys games.
The Cowboys have drawn a league-high 128,750 to five home games this season, with their average of 25,750 also leading the NFL and college football.