Donald: Playing without fans would take 'fun out of the game'
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Count Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald among those who believe the NFL shouldn't play games in empty stadiums due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Donald, a two-time Defensive Player of the Year, said Thursday that having no fans would detract from the atmosphere of live football.

"You need fans to play a game," Donald said, according to ESPN's Lindsey Thiry. "I don't see how you could play a game without no fans, I feel like that takes out the excitement and the fun out of the game ...

"I feel like the fans is what pick you up. The fans is what makes the game exciting. The fans will give you that extra juice when you're tired and fatigued, when you make that big play and you hear 80,000 fans going crazy. That just pumps you up."

The NFL has said it's planning for the 2020 season to be played in front of fans, but the league has reportedly created contingency plans that include closed-door games.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced this week that he hopes to allow sports events to begin in the first week of June, though without fans in attendance and with "modifications and very prescriptive conditions."

The Rams and Los Angeles Chargers are slated to move into their new home, SoFi Stadium, for the upcoming campaign. The $5-billion stadium has a seating capacity of 70,240, but that can be expanded with 30,000 additional seats for larger events. The stadium's construction has been allowed to continue, but five workers have tested positive for the coronavirus.

When the Rams christen their new stadium in a prime-time season opener against the Dallas Cowboys, Donald hopes fans will be there.

"You practice, and practice is practice. And then you prepare to play a game and be on a big stage and play in front of a crowd," Donald said. "Just no excitement (without fans). It wouldn't be fun to me. I don't think it would be fun to play a football game without fans."

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Donald: Playing without fans would take 'fun out of the game'
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