Troy Vincent: NFL Expecting Full Stadiums Until Medical Community Says Otherwise

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 24, 2020

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 07: Troy Vincent, EVP Football Operations, NFL during the Leaders
Paul Harding/Getty Images

While the league is keeping plenty of options on the table, the NFL is still considering a scenario where stadiums are at capacity for the 2020 season.

Troy Vincent, the NFL's executive vice president of football operations, said on The Team 980's The Brian Mitchell Show the league will change its approach on the advice of medical professionals (via NBC Sports Washington):

"We are planning to have full stadiums until the medical community tells us otherwise. 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.

"We also know that we have to plan for half stadiums. Three-quarters. 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."

Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio reported Vincent's comments "[mesh] with what we've been hearing privately for weeks, that the league believes circumstances will change sufficiently by September to allow both for games to proceed and for fans to attend them."

According to the World Health Organization, the United States has confirmed more than 1.5 million cases of the coronavirus and 92,923 deaths from the disease.

However, a number of states across the country have begun relaxing stay-at-home guidelines and business restrictions put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Sports leagues, most notable the KBO League and German Bundesliga, have slowly started returning around the world as well, albeit without any fans in attendance.

Because the pandemic's spread largely started taking hold in the U.S. during the NFL's offseason, the league's business hasn't been impacted too much. Free agency continues to unfold as usual, while the draft and preseason preparations have been done remotely.

The NFL's Hall of Fame Game is Aug. 6, and the regular season kicks off Sept. 10.

While that leaves league officials time to see how the situation evolves, the obvious question is whether a second wave of the coronavirus looms on the horizon, which would jeopardize the feasibility of large public events.


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