Will the NFL pack empty stadiums with virtual fans? Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Report: NFL considering use of virtual fans in stadiums for 2020 season

Virtual fans at sporting events have become a normality in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic, but will they be used in the NFL?

According to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, the NFL is considering the use of virtual fans in stadiums for the 2020 season.

The league adopted the practice during the 2020 NFL Draft, and the NBA has found success in bringing in virtual fans for the season resume at Walt Disney World. 

Many teams have announced decreased capacity for the 2020 season, though fans may not be allowed to attend games at all despite that. The Las Vegas Raiders, who will play their inaugural season at Allegiant Stadium, already announced that no fans will be allowed to attend home games due to the current conditions. 

The New England Patriots announced that they'll host fans at 20% capacity this season if they're allowed to, and the Green Bay Packers are only expecting to allow up to 12,000 fans at Lambeau Field, which has a maximum capacity of 81,441.

Whether fans are allowed or not, Fowler says the league will use virtual fans to enhance the game-day experience. However, virtual advertising also is being considered to fill vacant seats. 

The NFLPA announced Thursday that 56 players have tested positive for the coronavirus since reporting to training camp, which doesn't bode well for the season to begin. All signs are pointing towards games beginning on time, though. 

Erin Walsh is a Boston sports fan through and through. Although many think Boston sports fans are insufferable, Erin tries to see things from a neutral perspective. Her passion is hockey, and she believes defense wins championships. In addition to covering sports for Yardbarker, she covers Boston sports for NBC Sports Boston. Follow her on Twitter @ewalsh90

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