The NFL still plans to launch a full season this season, despite continued fears of the coronavirus, and the upcoming 2020 schedule will be released around May 9.
NFL general adviser Jeff Pash told reporters at a conference call Tuesday that the league is still planning for a full 2020 season that begins this fall.
“All our focus was on a regular traditional season, starting on time, for fans to play in our regular stadiums and go through our full regular season of 16 games and a full playoff,” Pash told reporters.
The NFL still plans to start a full season this season, despite continued fears of the coronavirus, and the upcoming 2020 schedule will be released around May 9. Pictured: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell answers questions during his media availability in 2019
Normally, the schedules will be announced before the April NFL Draft, but they will be released around May 9 this year, a spokesman for the league said. The later release date of the schedule is separate from the coronavirus and was discussed earlier; it now also serves to enable teams to return their ticket departments to full operation prior to the announcement.
International games in Mexico City and London remain on the league calendar, said Pash, adding that the NFL is considering a virtual low season, allowing teams to teleconference with players.
Pash also told reporters that the competition is optimistic that the new Rams and Raiders stadiums in Los Angeles and Las Vegas will be completed before the season. Both stadiums face obstacles related to the coronavirus, which, according to the Los Angeles Times, infected at least one construction worker from a Los Angeles stadium and reportedly passed it on to others.
NFL team owners voted on Tuesday to expand the playoffs in each conference for next season by one team.
During a conference call to discuss the competition after the annual meetings were canceled due to the new coronavirus pandemic, the owners also awarded one of those extra games to CBS and one to NBC. Three quarters of the 32 owners had to approve the change.
Only the teams with the best record in the AFC and NFC will get a bye under the new format; the top two teams have skipped a wildcard weekend in the past. The seventh seed plays number 2, the sixth visits number 3, and the fifth is at the fourth seed for wild card games.
NFL executive vice president Jeff Pash plans to begin the season ahead of time
NFL general counsel Jeff Pash told reporters that the league is optimistic that the respective new stadiums of Rams and Raiders in Los Angeles and Las Vegas (pictured) will be completed before the season begins. Both stadiums face obstacles related to the coronavirus, which, according to the Los Angeles Times, infected at least one construction worker from a Los Angeles stadium and reportedly passed it on to others.
This is the first expansion of the playoffs since 1990, when the NFL went from 10 to 12 participants in the postseason.
Three games are scheduled each for Saturday and Sunday, January 9-10 – pending the scheduled NFL schedule; that schedule should be released in April.
CBS will air another wildcard game on January 10 at approximately 4:40 PM EST. The game is also available via livestream on CBS All Access. A separately produced broadcast of the game is broadcast on Nickelodeon, tailored for a younger audience.
NBC, its new streaming service Peacock, and the Spanish-language Telemundo will air an additional game on January 10 at approximately 8:15 PM EST.
Peter O’Reilly, who oversees the planning of major events such as the Super Bowl and design, said that all NFL preparations are designed to “ensure the selection process goes smoothly.”
That means fair agreements for every team; ‘celebrating and hospitable’ conscripts in the competition; fan engagement “provide an escape for our fans and may allow virtual access to fans”; and as a fundraiser for people and communities affected by the pandemic.
Twenty-eight of the 32 NFL clubs have contacted subscribers with the offer to extend the next payment term or negotiate on a case-by-case basis. Broncos fans had a deadline for the final payment on February 1.
“There are many people who are incredibly affected by this crisis and may not have the means to complete the purchase of their subscriptions,” said Ravens President Dick Cass. “We are dealing with many subscribers who have been with us for 20 years and we do not want to lose them. So we get to work with them and hopefully we’ll find a solution that works for everyone. ‘
The Ravens announced on Twitter on Tuesday that the final payment for 2020 tickets has been extended from May 15 to June 15.
David and Joanne Michaelson, who have had their tickets since the team moved from Cleveland to Baltimore in 1996, appreciated the gesture.
“Even people like us who can afford those subscriptions will face massive financial difficulties in the coming months, and every little bit of financial aid – even extending our payment term – will be helpful,” said Joanne.
Only three NFL teams – the Cowboys, 49ers, and Bengals – apparently maintain the status quo regarding payments owed.
The Cowboys have not yet reached their fans, although a long subscriber to the subscription says that although the payment term for personal seat licenses has already passed, it is usually sometime in April before there is an update for subscriptions.
The San Francisco 49ers remain in a business-as-usual mode, and the Bengals say they are ‘still discussing the best way to go’.
The Eagles were in that category until Tuesday when they informed subscribers that the team is extending the April 16 deadline. The team said, “As an organization, we want you to know that we are there for you and that we want to support you during this difficult time. … We follow developments closely and will evaluate each option to ensure you have the flexibility to make your scheduled payments within a reasonable time.
It’s a view that has been adopted by most NFL teams, allowing fans to hold on to their money a little longer before fulfilling their commitment to the 2020 season.
In a letter to subscribers, the Patriots wrote, “We hope that you and your family are safe and healthy in this difficult situation. To alleviate some of your concerns during these uncertain times, we immediately suspend the deadline for our annual subscription plans. The deadline will be extended until June 30, 2020. “
The Vikings told their fans, “We understand the uncertainty caused by COVID-19 has created a number of challenges and tensions for us as we adapt to the rapidly evolving news along with changing family, work and community responsibilities. In an effort to respect the current circumstances, we have made the decision to defer payment of your final subscription for Thursday, April 16, until Monday, June 1. ‘
The Dolphins went one step further. A team spokesperson noted that in the current environment, cardholders will have several options, including deferred payments or shifting deposits for memberships until 2021 if they need help.
In this September 11, 2014 file photo, football fans cheer during the first half of an NFL football game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens in Baltimore. At a time when America is trying to deal with the financial implications of the deadly coronavirus, renewal of NFL subscriptions isn’t exactly a high priority amid rising unemployment, company closings, and a volatile stock market. Most teams understand this and acted accordingly
For the most part, NFL franchises try to make paying for subscriptions easier.
Extending the next schedule payment from April 1 to July 1, the Falcons wrote, “All fans need to do is fill out the form in their email and we’ll arrange it for them. … We want to do what is best for ALL our subscribers by offering options during this difficult time. ‘
Gary Knight of Greenwood, Indiana now owns the Colts season tickets his father bought in 1984 after the franchise moved from Baltimore to Indy. He accepted the team’s offer to work with him to complete the transaction
“I went there and they discussed a number of different payment plans, with three payments, so yes, I took advantage of that,” said Knight, wondering if COVID-19 could affect the NFL experience in 2020.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if we measured our temperatures when we entered the stadium, and wouldn’t be surprised if we saw quite a few masks in the stadium,” he said.
It is also possible that there is no season at all, a scenario the Packers have considered.
“While Packers expect to play a full schedule in 2020, cardholders are reminded of the canceled game policy,” the team said. If a game is canceled and cannot be rescheduled, or played under conditions that prevent fans from participating (for example, if a government agency limits meetings to no more than a small number of people), subscribers will receive a refund for the affected game (s). ‘
In this January 19, 2020 file photo, fans watch at Levi’s Stadium as the Green Bay Packers kick off the San Francisco 49ers during the first half of the NFL NFC Championship football game in Santa Clara, California.