The coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage the United States and other countries, it’s starting to get to a point where the NFL will need to speak on it sooner rather than later and the possibility that games will be impacted.
This past weekend, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported that “everything is on the table” looking ahead at the 2020 season, including canceling the season altogether.
“From @letsgomtnrs: Is there any chance the NFL plays the season in empty stadiums?"
Everything is on the table for now; there’s no other way to approach this unprecedented challenge to planning and logistics. Still, the NFL needs to be proactive about identifying every potential “what if?” question and coming up with a plan for every possible permutation.
So, yes, it’s possible that games will be played in empty stadiums. It’s possible that some teams won’t be able to play in their home markets. It’s possible that no games will be played at all.
Theoretically, it’s possible that the NFL will build in the middle of nowhere a corona-free campus where all players, coaches, trainers, doctors, broadcasters, officials, etc. would spend the entire season sequestered from the rest of the world, with games played on a series of fields from which the games would be televised, with no one else present. (I haven’t heard that this is a possibility, but it’s one that the league definitely should be considering.)”
There are additional risks to restarting sports besides packing fans into stadiums, of course. In football locker rooms, more than 50 players are asked to share a confined space, which is not even permitted in the United States as of right now.