To show their appreciation for fans during the upcoming shortened season, the New England Patriots said Monday they would offer perks such as free parking at home games if fans are allowed at games this season.
In a letter sent to season ticket holders, the Patriots thanked fans for their "continued dedication" to the team during a "challenging few months for everyone."
"In order to show our appreciation for your commitment to the Patriots during this unique season — and in acknowledgment that it will be different than any other season we have ever experienced together — we want to share that we will provide free parking in all Gillette Stadium lots this year," the team said in a statement.
"From both a safety and convenience standpoint, we hope this will simplify one aspect of your game day experience in 2020 and serve to express our gratitude for your support."
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker last week said professional sports teams could hold games as part of Phase 3 of the state's reopening plan. At first, teams will play games without spectators in the fans under the plan.
Baker has declined to offer a timeline for when fans may be allowed back in the stands, but said any decision to do so would be based on "the best data that's available."
While the NFL has not said if fans will be allowed in the stands, the Patriots said they are working with both the NFL and Massachusetts health officials on "numerous contingency plans" based on league and state policies.
The team also announced that tickets will now be digital for the safety of both fans and staff at Gillette Stadium.
For fans that may have already renewed their season tickets but may have health conditions that put them in a higher risk for COVID-19, the Patriots, like some other NFL teams, are offering a deferment on season ticket membership. A full refund will also be provided, according to the Patriots.
"We recognize that you are waiting for information that will help define your game day experience in the age of COVID-19, including but not limited to safety, cleanliness, seating arrangements, tailgating, and game atmosphere," the team said.
"We want to assure you that our organization is working diligently to develop numerous contingency plans based on the protocols and policies issued by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the NFL, keeping fan safety as our top priority."
Patriots training camp is scheduled to begin July 28. Their first game is scheduled for Sept. 13 at Gillette against the Miami Dolphins.