The NFL is moving forward with its plan to start the 2020 season on time despite the COVID-19 pandemic. While everyone around the league anticipates players will report for training camp in July and the season will begin in Week 1, some NFL teams might be hoping for a delay.
Facing the reality of a decline in attendance for the upcoming NFL season, with fans potentially not even being allowed to attend games early in the season, the idea of delaying the regular season seems to be gaining traction.
When the NFL released its 2020 schedule in May, it accounted for the possibility of delaying the upcoming season. While officials inside the NFL’s league office are against postponing the start of the regular season, there is support around the league.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, multiple NFL teams have expressed support for starting the season in October. A delay would allow the NFL to monitor how other leagues, like the NBA, resume their season and give the league additional time to create a firm plan for player safety.
Back in April, a surprising percentage of NFL fans supported the idea of delaying the regular season. The league itself has also contemplated it with the possibility of playing Super Bowl LV in late February or early March.
If the regular season was pushed back to October, with the first four games on the schedule moved into January, it could allow for the NFL to let more fans attend games. It would be crucial given the staggering revenue hit the NFL would experience if stadium capacity is reduced or games are played without fans.
The NFL would obviously need everyone, including players and all teams, to be on board with the decision. For now, fans can get excited for the upcoming season to start on time. However, it’s clear that it’s no sure thing to happen given the unpredictability of this pandemic.
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