TAMPA, Fla. — Football is officially back in Tampa Bay, but with no fans at the stadium for the first two home games.
“We’re glad football is back, but this is really going to impact my aunt,” said Lee Neads.
Neads' aunt lives close to the stadium, and like most of her neighbors, she opens her yard up for parking. Neads says she charges between $15 and $20.
“She usually makes about $150 to $200 a game,” he said. “She’s a widow and living off social security, so that money helps her pay her taxes.”
That’s money she will not be getting on Sept. 20 or Oct. 4.
The team made the decision to not allow fans in the stadium for the first two home games due to COVID-19. Just about every NFL is doing the same.
“We get it. We understand,” said Octavia Powell.
Powell and her family were some of the few people who still decided to tailgate even though they couldn’t get inside Raymond James Stadium.
“We are very excited to have football back,” she said. “Our team is here, and Brady is here. It’s just awesome. But hopefully, we can go inside for the third game.”
According to the Bucs, if COVID-19 trends continue like they were, they will allow some fans during the Oct. 18 home game. They will be playing the Green Bay Packers.
“That will help these folks around here,” said Sandra Kent. “We usually park here for games, and I know they rely on that money.“
Neads said he will be able to help his aunt out, “we’re trying to look at the bright side. There’s some worse off than us.”