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This was the first Patriots game at Gillette Stadium this season when they hosted the Dolphins sans fans. The seats will remain empty for the rest of the season due to coronavirus-related restrictions imposed by Gov. Charlie Baker.

There won’t be any fans at Gillette Stadium for the rest of the season.

And, no, it has nothing to do with the Patriots’ record.

While stadium officials had held out hope earlier in the season that Gillette might admit a limited number of people for home games, on Monday they announced that won’t be happening under the state’s latest coronavirus restrictions.

“We have recently been informed that the Governor’s Executive Order prohibiting large capacity venues from opening to the public will remain in force for the remainder of the 2020 football and soccer seasons,” stadium officials announced.

That, they said, makes bringing back fans impossible.

The New England Patriots have played four games without fans this season. They have home games coming up against Baltimore (Nov. 15), Arizona (Nov. 29), Buffalo (Dec. 28) and the New York Jets (Jan. 3).

The New England Revolution of Major League Soccer also plays its home games at Gillette.

The Kraft Group, which owns the Patriots, the Revolution and the stadium, had floated a plan this past summer that would have permitted up to 14,000 season-ticket holders at Gillette at some point this fall. A few other NFL stadiums have been allowing limited attendance this season, as well.

Stadium officials said they had been working with the state and had a plan that, they said, met guidelines issued by federal health officials, the NFL and MLS.

But under Massachussetts’ restrictions on outdoor gatherings, games will be played before empty seats for the foreseeable future.

“We understand that the advisory board, Governor (Charlie) Baker and Lt. Governor (Karyn) Polito made this decision with the health and safety of the community in mind. Still, we know that this decision will be disappointing to the friends and family members of our respective teams and countless Patriots and Revolution Season Ticket Members who were eager to attend games this season,” stadium officials said in the statement released Monday.

“As we turn our focus to 2021, we will continue to work closely with the advisory board to safely reopen our building. We look forward to welcoming Patriots and Revolution fans back home to Gillette Stadium upon being granted approval next year,” the statement continued.

Tom Reilly can be reached at 508-236-0332 or

Follow him on Twitter @Tomreillynews

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