In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said he does not anticipate NFL games will be held in his state with fans in stadiums in September, when the season is slated to begin.
ESPN's Lindsey Thiry provided the response to a question from The Atlantic and CNN's Ronald Brownstein:
Those remarks were a follow-up to a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter, who tweeted that President Donald Trump told American professional sports league commissioners and executives in a Saturday conference call that he believed the NFL would begin as scheduled.
Per Schefter, "Trump also said he hopes to have fans back in stadiums and arenas by August and September, sources said, although it is currently unclear if medical experts find that to be a realistic timeline amid the current coronavirus pandemic."
Three teams call California home after the Raiders left Oakland for Las Vegas: the San Francisco 49ers, the Los Angeles Rams and the L.A. Chargers.
The NFL's offseason programs are suspended indefinitely, although free agency has been held remotely. Furthermore, the NFL draft will take place from Thursday, April 23, through Saturday, April 25, also remotely as opposed to its previously scheduled location in Las Vegas.
But the beginning of the NFL season could be up in the air with COVID-19's continuing spread across the United States and the rest of the world.
The latest World Health Organization figures from Saturday afternoon show that at least 241,703 people have confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and that at least 5,854 people have died in the country. Friday saw at least 28,300 new cases, which is a one-day high in the United States.