NFL plans to start season on time, play in front of fans


The NFL said it is planning to start its regular season in early September as scheduled and play the games in front of fans, league officials said on a Tuesday conference call, according to an article in NFL.com.

The NFL plans come as other major American sports leagues, including the NBA and MLB, have suspended their seasons as the coronavirus outbreak spreads across the country.

Other major sports events have been postponed, including the Kentucky Derby and the 2020 Summer Olympics.

"All of our discussion, all of our focus, has been on a normal traditional season, starting on time, playing in front of fans, in our regular stadiums, and going through a full 16-game regular season and full set of playoffs," said Jeff Pash, who serves as the NFL's executive vice president and general counsel, according to NFL.com.

"That's our expectation. Am I certain of that? I'm not certain I'll be here tomorrow," Pash added. "But I'm planning on it, and in the same way, we're planning on having a full season."

Pash underscored that the league's medical executives are consulting with the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network about the coronavirus spread, according to the website.

The league has also continued to conduct its offseason business as a flurry of trades and signings, including six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, have helped fill the sports news void.

The NFL draft is scheduled to take place in Las Vegas from April 23 to 25 but will be held virtually. Team executives are slated to make their player selections from remote locations with people separated by at least six feet as per guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The league plans to use the draft as a platform to raise money in the fight against the pandemic.

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