PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — No fans will be in the stands Sunday, or likely anytime soon, at Lincoln Financial Field, but Philadelphia officials are trying to make sure that Eagles Nation doesn’t show up to tailgate either. City officials announced Wednesday all of the parking lots at the Linc will be closed on Sunday because of restrictions against large gatherings in the city due to the coronavirus pandemic.
FDR Park will also be off-limits for tailgating and streets around the stadium will be blocked off for most of Sunday, officials said Wednesday.
“For the safety of our residents and due to COVID-19 restrictions on large gatherings, tailgating will not be permitted until further notice,” Mayor Jim Kenney said in a news release. “There are still many ways to enjoy the game safely, and we encourage fans to watch at home with family.”
Every good tailgate is accompanied by good food. Oregon Steaks in South Philadelphia is a stop many Eagles fans make before heading to the Linc.
“We get all the foot traffic back and forth through the stadium. We’re only four blocks away,” co-owner Christie Mercado said. “I mean it’s definitely going to impact the business.”
Mercado says the city’s move to prohibit tailgating in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is understandable.
“They have to protect everyone,” Mercado said. “As a business owner, is it a shame? Yes, because obviously we’re not going to have all the people here.”
Fans had mix reactions on the announcement.
“No tailgating for the Eagles unfortunately, it sucks but this is Philly,” Anthony Giannakopoulos, of South Philly, said. “Somehow, some way, we’re going to figure it out and we’re going to wind up tailgating.”
“It is what it is. You know what I mean?” Michael Piselli, of Deptford, New Jersey, said. “I’m just wishing we have a good season.”
Officials said the areas of South 7th Street, Broad Street and Packer Avenue to I-95 will be closed to vehicle traffic on Sunday between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Here are the full road closures for Sunday:
- South 11th Street closed to traffic both ways (Pattison Avenue to Terminal Avenue)
- Pattison Avenue closed to traffic both ways (South Broad Street to South 7th Street)
- South 10th Street closed to traffic southbound (Packer Avenue and Hartranft Street, a.k.a. “Phillies Way”)
- South Darien Street closed to traffic southbound (Packer Ave. to Pattison Avenue)
The same streets will be closed for every Eagles home game until further notice, officials said.
Xfinity Live! will remain open, but employees and customers will have to show tickets and IDs to get in.
Officials said Philadelphia police and Parks and Recreation will increase patrols of FDR Park on game days.
The Eagles (0-1) will host the Los Angeles Rams (1-0) at 1 p.m. on Sunday. It’s the first of eight regular-season home games.
CBS3’s Kimberly Davis contributed to this report.