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Fans during Sunday's Steelers-Browns game in Pittsburgh. Photo: Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Following the No Sports Era this spring, we transitioned to the No Fans Era, with bubble tournaments and empty stadiums becoming a staple of the summer.

The state of play: We have now entered the Limited Fans Era, a transition that has gone somewhat unnoticed due to shifting attendance policies.

The latest: Look no further than this weekend, when many of the biggest sporting events in the U.S. had fans in the stands.

  • NFL: Eight of Sunday's 11 games had fans (Charlotte, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Nashville, Miami and Tampa Bay). Tonight's Cardinals-Cowboys game in Dallas will make it nine this week.
  • MLB: 10,920 fans were on hand at Globe Life Field for Game 7 of the NLCS. Roughly the same number will be in attendance throughout the World Series.
  • College football: Over 19,000 fans watched Alabama beat Georgia at Bryant-Denny Stadium, 18,000 watched Florida State upset UNC at home, 11,000 attended Clemson-Georgia Tech. The list goes on.
  • Boxing: Fans haven't been allowed at a noteworthy boxing event in the U.S. since Top Rank started staging fights again on June 9 inside its Vegas bubble. But on Saturday, 250 fans were permitted to attend the Lomachenko-Lopez fight at the same MGM Grand venue.

Go deeper

Dec 21, 2020 - Podcasts

Milwaukee Bucks owner: NBA teams will lose money this season

The NBA tips off tomorrow night, making it the first major U.S. sports league to play a second season amidst the pandemic. No bubble this time, but also not many in-person fans.

Axios Re:Cap talks with Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry on the business of basketball, how much he expects to lose this season and that massive new deal for two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Right-wingers making McCarthy sweat for future Speaker post

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy stands with his Republican colleagues outside the House on Nov. 17. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Right-wing elements in the Republican Party are complicating House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's attempts to become the next speaker of the House should the GOP take back the majority in 2022.

Why it matters: While McCarthy has worked carefully to build trust among the conservatives who tanked his chances at clinching the speakership in 2015, they're still circling ahead of the next Speaker vote in January 2023.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Congress sprints to meet crush of deadlines

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Congressional leaders have been pushing off vital action for months — and a lot of it will catch up with them in December, which begins Wednesday.

Driving the news: Funding for the federal government is set to expire at midnight on Friday. There are also consequential deadlines related to the debt limit, President Biden's agenda and annual actions like voting on the National Defense Authorization Act.