Broncos announce this weekend will be last game in front of fans this season
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The Denver Broncos announced on Friday that the team's Sunday game against the Miami Dolphins will be the last it plays in front of fans this season amid the coronavirus pandemic.  

The Broncos said in a statement that the increase in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations locally required them to adjust their future plans. The team said it was taking the precaution with recent guidelines issued by local officials to limit gatherings ahead of the holiday season.

The team plans to welcome fans back to Empower Field at Mile High in 2021. 

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“Working in close partnership with the state, the Broncos are fully committed to keeping our community and team safe while doing our part to stop the spread of COVID-19,” the team said. “As we make this difficult decision, we want to recognize the dedication of our guest relations, stadium and part-time staff for safely and successfully hosting fans through our first five home games.” 

The Broncos had been allowing up to 5,700 fans at home games since the third week of their season due to a variance issued by the state, according to ABC 7 Denver, and no cases have been traced to those games. 

However, the news outlet noted that Denver and several other counties were classified as level red, meaning they have high levels of transmission, hospitalization and positivity rates. 

Colorado Gov. Jared PolisJared Schutz PolisColorado order allows hospitals to stop admitting, transfer patients when at capacity due to COVID-19 Broncos announce this weekend will be last game in front of fans this season Effort to recall Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has failed to collect necessary signatures by deadline MORE (D) imposed new restrictions on counties at that level, according to Colorado Sun, which mandates closure of indoor dining and limits personal gatherings. However, retail businesses and offices can remain open. 

There have been 182,801 cases in Colorado since the pandemic began, according to the Colorado Department of Health and Environment. More than 2,730 have died.