COVID-19 has had a dramatic effect on just every aspect of modern life, but that pandemic should be somewhat contained by the start of the 2020 NFL season. President Donald Trump had a conference call with the four major sports commissioners and, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, believes that the NFL should be able to start their 2020 season at their regularly scheduled time. This is obviously huge news for football fans everywhere, as sports around the world are currently in a temporary hiatus.
2020 NFL Season Should Start on Time, Per Donald Trump
Despite the ongoing pandemic, the NFL has managed to keep their offseason schedule relatively unchanged. The NFL Combine occurred prior to federal quarantine and social distancing recommendations, while free agency has been conducted with minimal on-site visits. The 2020 NFL Draft is still set to occur later this month, although it will be a completely remote experience.
As of this posting, Pro Days are the only football-based events to be canceled by COVID-19. While this obviously affects the scouting process, the NFL clearly feels that the draft can occur without that influx of information. Additionally, offseason programs are expected to be pushed back in some capacity, although an official announcement has yet to be made.
Trump reportedly hopes to have fans in attendance for the 2020 NFL season, although it’s unclear at this time if that is a realistic goal. In a worst-case scenario, teams will play in empty stadiums and broadcast said contests to a national audience.
Update: California Governor Gavin Newsom is “not anticipating” games to be played in front of a live audience, at least for the start of the season
On his daily press briefing just now @GavinNewsom tells me flatly re #NFL starting season on time w/fans in stands in the CA stadiums: "I’m not anticipating that happening in this state." @AdamSchefter https://t.co/ejqC423Vtk
— Ronald Brownstein (@RonBrownstein) April 4, 2020
The NBA was the first league to briefly suspend their season due to COVID-19. The NBA took their haitus on March 11th, and the NHL, MLB, and most every other major sport soon followed their lead. While none of the major sports have officially canceled their season, it doesn’t look like any league will have the chance to restart their league year.
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