The owner of the Miami Dolphins, Steve Ross, believes that the NFL regular season will start as planned this year despite the current COVID-19 crisis.
The National Football League (NFL) is currently under threat because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The United States has already recorded more than 100,000 COVID-19 deaths and over 1.7 million positive cases.
Medical experts have warned that a possible second wave could hit the country in autumn. However, that doesn't seem to be demotivating the stakeholders of the NFL.
All 32 teams have been allowed to reopen their training facilities. However, they are required to follow the stringent COVID-19 guidelines set forth by the league. Besides this, the teams must also adhere to their local shelter-in-place laws.
The facilities are still not allowing coaches or players to enter the premises, but the reopening seems to be a step towards the possibility of starting the NFL season as scheduled in September.
The Guardian quoted Ross saying, "I think there definitely will be a football season this year. The real question is, will there be fans in the stadium? Right now, today, we're planning to have fans in the stadium. But I think the NFL is looking at and is very flexible so that we will be able to start on time and bring that entertainment that is so needed for all of us in this country. Certainly the NFL will be ready to go. We're prepared, and hopefully there will be fans in the stadium."
As of now, any formal announcement regarding the potential season restart date is yet to be made by the league.
There are several contingency plans in place that include the options of playing behind closed doors or else, allowing limited spectators to enter the stadiums. The worst-case scenario of no games being played at all is also being taken into consideration.
However, according to Ross, there aren't any scenarios at present that could derail the 2020 NFL season. Although many other club owners agree with him, given the status of the ongoing pandemic, the league authorities are not in a hurry when it comes to decision-making.