The COVID-19 pandemic has created a lot of chaos all across the globe. Everyone is feeling the effects, and that includes the sports world. At present, the NFL has probably had the fewest issues so far. That’s because it is one of the few sports leagues that was not in season when the pandemic spread.
Due to that, they have not had to cancel any games yet or postpone the start of the season.
While the 2020 NFL Draft was very different, conducted virtually, it was still a success. Teams did not get to hold workouts ahead of time and that might have made things more complicated. And now, OTAs and minicamps are being held virtually as well, which present its own challenges but still, the sailing appears smooth.
However, the regular season is slowly creeping up. And that means the NFL will need to start to address the issues that other leagues, like the NBA and MLB, have had to cope with over the past few months.
It is starting to seem more likely that the NFL will start the 2020 season on time. The big question is whether or not they will have any fans in the stands.
According to NBC Sports, NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent says the league is preparing for the 2020 season as if fans will be in the stadiums. He said on The Brian Mitchell Show on Team 890 on Friday:
“We are planning to have full stadiums until the medical community tells us otherwise … Now remember when we’re talking — we’re talking about September, August, September. So there’s a lot that can happen here. So we’re planning for full stadiums.
“We also know that we have to plan for half stadiums. Three-quarters. So we’re planning for all of these different scenarios. But first and foremost, we’re making every effort, working with the medical community, if we can have those stadiums with all people until they tell us otherwise when that time comes, that’s our plan. That’s our plan of action.”
Planning for full or partially-full stadiums to start the upcoming season certainly makes sense. The NFL is trying to be safe about the entire situation. If fans are allowed in the stadiums, the NFL will want to make sure everything is as risk-free as possible. So preparing to have a sanitary and safe experience in a variety of scenarios now is a proactive approach.
There is still a lot of time before the start of the regular season. So at the moment, anything could happen and things could change drastically. If, by September, the situation has not improved, then the NFL definitely can’t have fans in the stands.
At the same time, it’s possible that things could be back to normal by then, or close to it. While that does not seem likely, it’s not impossible. Being prepared for both situations, and anything in between, is just good business on the NFL’s part.
Either way, it sounds like the NFL is ready for the season to start on time. And everyone is excited about getting sports back, no matter if fans are or are not allowed in the stadiums.