CLEVELAND (WJW) — The “Here we go, Brownies” chants are back. Thousands of Cleveland Browns fans tailgated at the Muni lot and streamed into FirstEnergy Stadium for the first preseason home game against the New York Giants.
“Am I excited? I’ve been waiting for this all year,” exclaimed April Robertson.
People returned to the stadium after many missed out last season due to capacity limits.
“This was my surprise. My bachelorette party. I didn’t even know it was going to happen,” said bride-to-be Nicole Pierce.
Gameday tickets were a gift for Dr. Vivian Clark-Jacobs: “I’m feeling great. This is my first Browns game in this stadium right here, it’s a birthday present.”
In a letter to season ticket holders, the Browns announced they are prepared to operate at full capacity for the 2021 season.
They called the 12,000 fans who were able to attend last season’s games phenomenal but said having a full stadium “truly energizes” the team.
“I’m comfortable. I think everyone is being safe, I think everyone knows what to do and I am positive that everyone is ready to get out and about and in a safe way,” said fan Danielle Harp.
“I am a healthcare professional so I do have my mask I just hope everyone will remain safe and keep your social distancing and wash your hands,” said Clark-Jacobs.
The Browns say they are encouraging fans to follow CDC guidance which recommends face coverings be worn in all indoor settings when they are at games at FIrst Energy Stadium, but they are not mandated.
That includes areas like elevators, bathrooms and event spaces and the team stated the CDC’s recommendation applies regardless of vaccine status.
But walking in the gates and in the stands, most fans chose not to wear one.
“Yeah, I mean, we’re good with that. I mean we’ll wear it inside at the console but when we’re at the field we’ll probably take it off. But you know we feel we’ll take it down just in case especially with the young one with us,” said Ryan Rieth.
Abraham Jefferies Jr. feels differently. “I feel it should be mandated just for the protection of over people around you because we’re gonna be so close and with the Delta out there.”
Robertson said she and her family will just do their best to keep their distance.
“You gotta be cautious and you have to be educated. I am vaccinated so you need to be educated about what you will allow around you,” Robertson said.
But when it comes to football — fans say they are truly optimistic about this season.
“I mean, it’s Super Bowl or bust. That’s how I feel. Let’s do it man. let’s get it,” said Reith