President Donald Trump recently held a conference call with more than a dozen leaders from professional sports leagues in the United States. The coronavirus pandemic was the topic of the conference call, and more specifically, when leagues should expect to either resume or start their respective seasons.
President Trump was extremely optimistic during the conference call and in his comments to the media, telling the country that he wants fans back in the stands sooner rather than later.
NFL Should Start on Time
The National Football League is not set to kick off their preseason games until August, with the regular season starting in September. President Trump made it clear that he expects the NFL season to begin on time, and with fans in the stadiums for the games.
The NFL is one of the few leagues that is continuing to operate through the coronavirus pandemic, although those operations have been altered. The 2020 NFL Draft is set to take place later in April, but the draft will not take place in Las Vegas. It is unclear if NFL teams are expecting to have training camps in July, but the league continues to press on through the pandemic.
NBA Wants to Kick Off Comeback
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told President Trump on the conference call that the league wants to be a part of the resumption of sports when it does happen. The NBA was the first major sports league to suspend their season in the wake of the coronavirus when one of their players tested positive for the disease.
The NBA has thrown around a lot of possible scenarios to resume their season, which was supposed to wrap up at the beginning of June. NBA teams had close to 20 regular-season games remaining on their regular-season schedule before the NBA Playoffs were set to kickoff.
NHL Facing Weather Issues
The National Hockey League was also nearing the end of their regular season, and they have also reportedly had several players test positive for the disease. The NHL is on the same general timeline as the NBA, but they can’t afford to push the season back too far.
The reason is that if temperatures get too high in certain cities, then the ice in the arenas will not be safe for competition. The NHL is one of the few leagues that hasn’t provided many updates during the coronavirus pandemic, but commissioner Gary Bettman was on the conference call with President Trump.
College Football in Jeopardy?
The NCAA made the extremely difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament, which cost the organization more than $1 billion. As a part of that announcement, the NCAA also canceled all spring sports and championship events.
The hope was that play would resume in the fall, but it now appears that college football could be threatened. Several colleges around the country have already canceled onsite classes during the summer, and the campuses remained closed.
This will not allow teams to hold summer training camps, which will throw a huge wrinkle in the start of the 2020 college football season.
State Governors Disagree
While President Trump remains optimistic that sports will be allowed to resume soon, some state governors are more pessimistic. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and California Governor Gavin Newsom stated that they would follow the guidelines and suggestions from health organizations before they allow sports to resume in their states.
New York and California have both been hit extremely hard by the coronavirus pandemic, and these states could throw a huge wrinkle in the plans of professional sports organizations.