Will the NFL Season get canceled due to COVID-19
With the NFL draft upon us, many fans are concerned with the NFL season potentially being canceled due to COVID-19. Recently the NFL had it's first player test positive for coronavirus, which raises concerns with football being a contact sport, will the 2020 NFL season have to be canceled because of coronavirus? With so many people impacted by coronavirus and with everyone eager to see sports return, fans are wondering if the 2020 NFL season will be canceled.
We take a look at possible scenarios discussed by sports analysts and medical experts through the news regarding the likelyhood of the 2020 NFL season being canceled. What are the odds the NFL Season is canceled?
Will the NFL Season get canceled?
The 2020 NFL Season is starting to get some attention. In recent weeks, the NFL announced it would be postponing the release of the 2020 NFL Schedule, only notifying us that they would release the schedule before May 9. With almost all professional sports having to pause and potentially cancel games or even the remainder of the 2019-2020 seasons, Roger Goodell and the NFL have been lucky to only have to cancel the NFL draft in Las Vegas. The NFL Draft is now moving to an online format for the first time in history. It almost appears as the NFL is buying more time before they make a decision on if the 2020 NFL season will be canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
2019-2020 NBA AND NHL SEASONS ON HOLD
Currently the NBA and NHL have put the remaining 2019-2020 regular season games on hold. They have discussed a variety of scenarios where the teams return to complete the regular season, pushing back playoffs and the start of the 2020-2021 season into the fall. With that being said, regardless of how the NBA and NHL decide to complete the balance of the regular season and start playoffs (if at all), it is likely that any scenario where we see either league returning it will be without the presence of fans for the foreseeable future.
BASEBALL SEASON ON HOLD
The MLB is taking the brunt of coronavirus and likely will be the biggest casualty of all the four major sports. The 2020 MLB season was just about to begin. With the league right in the middle of spring training, the remainder of spring training and start of the MLB season was postponed until further notice. Since then the MLB has had to make multiple changes to when the 2020 MLB season will return due to coronavirus. Since more information has become available, the MLB has discussed modifying the divisions and having players start a modified schedule where they would play baseball at their spring training site without fans. This would allow baseball to return to TV and give the league the ability to cash in on TV deal money to help keep the league moving forward until things return to normal from coronavirus. It is still uncertain what the MLB will do with the 2020 season. As of today, we believe it's likely they play a modified schedule that reduces the number of games each team plays, trying their best to get as many games possible in without fans to salvage any TV deal money they can.
WILL CORONAVIRUS CANCEL SPORTS FOR 2020?
With the MLB, NHL and NBA sitting tight lipped on the remainder of the 2020 seasons, the NFL is on the hot seat. It almost appears that the leagues are in discussion, but waiting for the NFL and Roger Goodell to make a decision first. The delayed release of the 2020 schedule is a tactic to buy more time for the NFL as they discuss what options are available. It will certainly be a huge blow to professional sports and those impacted directly from relying on revenue that surrounds NFL football. We hope to hear more from the NFL over the next few weeks on if the 2020 NFL season will be canceled or not. It is possible the NFL could play a reduced schedule, however unlikely as the owners will want to maximize revenues. It will be interesting how the NFL will manage the 2020 NFL season with the current coronavirus pandemic.
Will the NFL be able to play football in 2020?
If the NFL returns in 2020 to play football, will there be fans? It's unknown if the NFL will try and return and reduce the number of fans. It has been rumoured that the NFL is consulting with the Los Angeles Chargers as they have the most experience on hosting live NFL football games with less fans than other organizations. The hopes is that the organization can provide insight on how the more successful organizations can host a game with under 30,000 fans. Will the NFL play football games with fans in every other row and spacing fans out in attendance? It is tough to say what will be acceptable within medical experts advice on social distancing rules.
Los Angeles may hold off on allowing big gatherings until 2021 because of the coronavirus threat.
If Los Angeles doesn't allow large gatherings until 2021, both the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers will likely have to find new homes for the 2020 season, should the 2020 NFL get canceled.
As we sit at home on Sunday I reflect on the “potential” upcoming 2020 NFL season. We have already had the draft and schedule delayed. I want to know who thinks the NFL season will be canceled?— Tim Macdonell (@timmacdonell) April 19, 2020
We asked fans on Twitter what they thought the most likely scenario for the 2020 NFL season would be. Would the 2020 NFL season get canceled, will the NFL play a shortened season or will the NFL season go forward without any issues? Fans are pretty split on if the 2020 NFL season will be canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Option #1 - NFL Football Returns With No Fans
This is the most likely scenario for most professional sports as we transition to a life with coronavirus in mind. It is most likley that existing leagues that had their season interupted will return to play without fans first. With the announcement of non-physical contact sports like PGA golf resuming in June, it is likely that if we are to see any professional sports, it will be without any fans in attendance.
If sports return without fans, the NFL and other sports leagues will still have to impliment safety policies and significant testing for all players, staff and anyone involved in order to ensure the 2020 NFL season isn't canceled. Unfortunately, football is a physical sport where there is excessive contact and players sweating and breathing on each other in close range. If someone was infected, the likelyhood of them spreading the virus would be significantly increased while playing football.
Option #2 - NFL Football Returns With Fans
The least likely scenario for most professional sports is that fans will be in attendance in 2020. Due to the restrictions of having large gatherings, the likelihood of fans in excess of 20,000 for NBA and NHL games, yet alone 50,000+ for some MLB baseball and NFL football games will likely be prohitibed for the forseeable future.
If sports fans are lucky, we will be able to witness professional sports live while enjoying an overpriced beer from the concessions stand and heckling the referee for a terrible missed call. Although unlikely it will happen, we can dream. Should there be a scenario where professional sports will return in 2020 with fans in attendance, it could look like this. Teams letting a minimum amount of fans allowed into venues while being spaced out in sections, rows and seats to minimize the risk of spreading the virus to any other fans and limiting the risk of contraction. This could also limit the areas of the arena, stadium or ball parks that you will be able to explore. Of course, social distancing rules will apply and you will need to keep your distance. There will be a lot of measures the leagues and teams need to impliment in order to make this happen, which makes it the least likely scenario.
Option #3 - NFL Football Returns Shortened Season
In the scenario that the NFL can salvage any of the 2020 season without canceling football for the entire year, you know they will do it. If we are lucky enough to see an improvement in the results of the spread of coronavirus, but the NFL will need to delay the start of the season and potentially play a reduced schedule, they will. The NFL will not overlook any scenario where they can salvage a modified version of the season if it becomes an option.
Option #4 - 2020 NFL Season Canceled
Everyone's worst nightmare. 2020 sports gets the football in the nuts. In the event that the NFL season can't move forward without fans and play the games strictly for TV leading to the cancelation of the 2020 season, it would be the worst thing ever for football fans. This is a scenario we do not want to imagine. Waking up on a football Sunday wearing your team colours, ready to eat your favourite snacks and cold beverages with your friends and family is something we all need in our lives.
We hope that the 2020 NFL season is not canceled and we are able to enjoy sports this fall. In the next few weeks the pressure will increase on the NFL to implement a plan and answer questions regarding if the 2020 NFL season will be canceled due to COVID-19. Once the 2020 NFL season schedule is released, diehard football fans will be looking for reassurance from the league that the fans are protected should the NFL season get canceled. The teams will need to be able to provide policies to fans should the games get canceled during the 2020 NFL season. It will make it increasingly difficult for fans who are unsure if they will be able to attend sporting events due to the coronavirus. With fears that the games will be canceled and fans be left to figure out a solution, it is already an increasingly stressful times for fans who may be impacted directly by COVID-19. There are also millions of individuals who's work is directly impacted by the potential canceling of the 2020 NFL season. We hope that the 2020 NFL season is not canceled and we can enjoy one of our favourite pastimes, bbq some food and enjoying some cold suds before we watch our Buffalo Bills play at New Era Field.