Plans are to welcome about 5,700 fans to the stands at Empower Field at Mile High this Sunday.

It's that time of year again ... football season! COVID-19 has definitely put a bit of a damper on this season, but the Broncos, with the backing of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, are doing their part to return us to normalcy. 

While the home opener against the Titans on September 14 was played in front of a sea of cardboard "fans," game 3 against Tampa Bay and Tom Brady will host a limited number of real human beings this Sunday.

"As everybody in our state knows, normal in the fall means a very important thing: It means football," Governor Jared Polis said in a joint press conference with Broncos Vice President of Strategic Initiatives Brittany Bowlen. "It means the Denver Broncos. And Colorado is orange nation and I know everyone including myself and my family is of course very eager to get back to football Sundays. We all know it's just not the same if they're planning to an empty stadium. I'm thrilled to announce today that the Denver Broncos' game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sept. 27 will allow a limited number of fans to attend. This step is really possible because of the commitment and dedication of the Broncos' organization — really to go above and beyond at putting together a safe experience for fans. It values the team spirit and values the health of those who attend."

According to plans worked up between the team and the CDPHE, about 5,700 fans will be allowed to cheer on the home team at Empower Field. In total, that represents around 7.5 percent of the stadium's capacity. 

It's a positive move as the state starts moving toward further relaxing COVID-19 restrictions. If all goes well, future games will be evaluated for fan attendance.

Unfortunately for most of us, it appears this option is only open to season ticket holders. Even if you happen to be one of those lucky people, you will be entered into a weighted lottery based on priority number for single-game tickets and parking passes. On-sale dates will begin next week. 

Seats will be sold in "pods" of one to six tickets, and sections will be separated into smaller groups with designated entry, concession and restroom areas to limit fan exposure in alignment with the state's outdoor event guidance. Suite seating options—with limited capacity—will also be available first to current Broncos premium members.

Fans will be required to wear face masks and social distance. And, sadly, no tailgating is permitted at this time. 

"Fans are a big part of our team. They bring our entire building to life. That's why we're excited to welcome back a limited number of season-ticket members starting Sept. 27 with many health and safety enhancements in place, said Bowlen. "Our organization is hopeful that this is the start to gradually increasing fans at Broncos games this season, but we understand that that takes the entire community, both on game days and in our daily lives doing our part. Our organization remains committed to partnering with Governor Polis and the state to help the spread of COVID-19."

You can read more about the ticketing system and the requirements for those who attend on

What do you think? Are you one of the lucky ones who could get tickets? Will you be going if you can? Let us know in the comments.