It looks like there will be an NFL season amid the coronavirus pandemic, and unlike other professional sports returning, the NFL expects to have fans in the stands this fall. Troy Vincent, the NFL executive vice president of football operations, appeared on The Brian Mitchell Show and revealed fans will be able to attend games unless they are told otherwise.
"We are planning to have full stadiums until the medical community tells us otherwise," Vincent said via 247Sports. "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." Vincent also said the NFL has a plan if it can't have full stadiums. It's possible, the NFL can have games with only stadiums that are 50 or 75 percent full.
"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," Vincent said. NFL teams are allowed to open their facilities after being closed since the end of March. Coaches and players have yet to return to their facilities, but in the meantime the players have been working out at their homes and having virtual meetings. Earlier this month, the Miami Dolphins revealed a plan to host games with fans.
"We would have times to come in for security at different gates so people would be separated out, in terms of when they enter the stadium," Dolphins CEO/president Tom Garfinkel said on Good Morning America. "We would exit the stadium much like a church environment, where each row exits so people aren't filing out all at the same time in a herd."
The 2020 NFL season is set to start on September 10 when the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Houston Texans. At this time, teams would be having OTAs before hosting a mandatory minicamp. They would then break for the summer and return at the end of July for a training camp. If the players return to the facilities soon, they could start things with minicamp, take a short break and return for training camp to get ready for the preseason.