Dolphins' Stephen Ross Believes NFL Will 'Definitely' Have a Season in 2020

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 26, 2020

DAVIE, FL - FEBRUARY 04: Stephen Ross Chairman & Owner of the Miami Dolphins addresses the media as he announces Brian Flores as their new Head Coach at Baptist Health Training Facility at Nova Southern University on February 4, 2019 in Davie, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Mark Brown/Getty Images

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said he believes the 2020 NFL season will "definitely" move forward as scheduled despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Ross said Tuesday during an appearance on CNBC (via ESPN's Cameron Wolfe) the "real question is will there be fans in the stadium." He said the league's current outlook calls for people in attendance, but that's subject to change before the season kicks off in September.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement May 7 saying the league would be flexible with potential schedule changes based on how the COVID-19 situation evolves in the coming months:

"In preparing to play the season as scheduled, we will continue to make our decisions based on the latest medical and public health advice, in compliance with government regulations, and with the appropriate safety protocols to protect the health of our fans, players, club and league personnel, and our communities.

"We will be prepared to make adjustments as necessary, as we have during this offseason in safely and efficiently conducting key activities such as free agency, the virtual off-season program and the 2020 NFL draft."

For now, the league's preseason is scheduled to begin Aug. 6 with the Hall of Fame Game featuring the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys. The regular season would follow Sept. 10 with the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Houston Texans.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday he was allowing the state's professional sports teams to restart training with an eye toward games without fans.

"New York State will help those major sport franchises to do just that," Cuomo said. "Hockey, basketball, baseball, football, whoever can reopen we're a ready, willing and able partner."

He added: "I'm acting as governor, there's no personal agenda here. Yes, I do want to watch the [NFL's Buffalo] Bills, but that is not subverting my role as governor."

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy followed suit Tuesday, joining the list of states that have started the reopening process after more than two months of strict COVID-19 guidelines.

The NBA and NHL were in the latter stages of their respective regular seasons when play was stopped in mid-March, and MLB was preparing to start its 2020 season.

None of those leagues have announced a firm date for a resumption of play.