Colts are about to start having real home field advantage
The Colts will be permitted to host 12,500 fans come Oct. 18.
The Indianapolis Colts will be on the road this week against the Chicago Bears and then again in Week 5 against the Cleveland Browns, but when they return home on Oct. 18 to face the Cincinnati Bengals, they’ll be welcomed by a crowd over five times the size they saw in Week 2.
Colts owner Jim Irsay revealed on Thursday that Lucas Oil Stadium has now been cleared to host 12,500 fans for the team’s Week 6 game and he sure sounded excited about it. Indy has been one of the few teams that’s been able to have some sort of capacity in their home stadium.
If that number continues to grow as the season progresses, the Colts will have near-legitimate home field advantage, which will be monumental as they fight for a playoff spot in the AFC.
Then again, every team in their division is permitted to have fans of some kind. The Texans can pack NRG Stadium 20% of the way this week; the Titans will be allowed 12.5% capacity on Oct. 11; and the Jaguars, who were the first team to host fans back in Week 1, can still have up to 25% of TIAA Bank Field’s seating filled.
Seven AFC teams cannot have any fans in attendance based on state regulations. That includes the Pittsburgh Steelers, Los Angeles Chargers, Las Vegas Raiders, Baltimore Ravens, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots.
Given that five of those teams figure to be in the playoff picture this year, it’s a huge advantage for the Colts to be able to have over 12,000 fans at their back.
The Colts’ final four home games will be against the Titans, Texans, Raiders and Steelers, so if the health restrictions continue to be relaxed over the next two months, the team will be getting a much-needed boost down the stretch when faced with a number of tough matchups.
Keep wearing your masks and social distancing. Before you know it Lucas Oil Stadium will be packing in 68,000!