NFL VP: We’re ‘planning to have full stadiums’ in 2020

The NFL continues to forge ahead as if nothing is amiss. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the league is preparing to play games in full stadiums.

NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent appeared on “The Brian Mitchell Show” Friday. During his interview, he divulged that the league is preparing for full stadiums this year, “until the medical community tells us otherwise,” 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 August, September. So there’s a lot that can happen here. So we’re planning for full stadiums.”

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Originally posted on Sportsnaut | By Jesse Reed | Last updated 5/24/20

Report: MLB gave players two options for 2020 season

It appears negotiations between MLB and the MLB Players Association to begin the 2020 season that hasn’t yet begun because of the coronavirus pandemic won’t get much friendlier between the two parties anytime soon.

On Tuesday afternoon, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman tweeted that owners have presented two new proposals to the players, and logic suggests the union won’t happily embrace either.

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By Zac Wassink | Last updated 5/19/20

Report: NFL could lose $5 billion if season played without fans

The NFL has avoided any major setbacks during the COVID-19 pandemic thanks in large part to timing. If things don’t improve in the next few months, though, the league could be on the brink of an unprecedented financial hit.

If a full 17-week regular season is played without fans in attendance, which remains a possibility, the league could collectively lose billions of dollars in revenue.

While the league is confident there will be an NFL season in 2020, there is no guarantee fans will be able to attend games. States across the country are opening up to sports, but there are also fears that there could be a second wave of COVID-19.

If that hits in September, right when the regular season begins, the economic fallout for every team would be staggering. According to estimates from Forbes’ Mike Ozanian, the NFL would lose $5.5 billion in stadium revenue this upcoming season, a 38% hit to the league’s total revenue, if games are played in empty stadiums.

The projection is even worse than earlier estimates for one of the NFL’s nightmare scenarios. At a time when many hoped the salary cap would skyrocket next season thanks to new television deals, a 38% revenue hit would send the cap tumbling down for years to come.

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Originally posted on Sportsnaut | By Matt Johnson | Last updated 5/20/20

Timberwolves to reopen practice facility

The Timberwolves will reopen their practice facility for voluntary individual workouts on Thursday, May 21, the team announced Wednesday in a press release.

According to the announcement, the Wolves worked in conjunction with local government officials, infectious disease experts and public health authorities in making their decision.

On top of the strict restrictions put in place by the NBA for teams reopening their facilities, the Wolves will enact a few of their own rules. According to the club, only one player and one coach will be permitted on the court at a time, and player workouts will be limited to 45 minutes. Additionally, contact tracing will be administered upon entry to the building, per the Wolves.

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Originally posted on Hoops Rumors | By Luke Adams | Last updated 5/20/20

Ravens will pay all stadium workers even if games are played without fans

The Baltimore Ravens are looking out for the people who work for them in a really big way.

The NFL is preparing for the potential that games may be played without fans in 2020. Regardless, the Ravens will pay all stadium workers, whether there are fans in the stands or not.

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Originally posted on Sportsnaut | By Jesse Reed | Last updated 5/17/20

NHL, NHLPA reportedly making progress on 24-team playoff format

With plenty of options available to the NHL when it comes to resuming play, progress is being made toward a possible playoff format. According to The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun, the Return to Play Committee is leaning toward a 24-team playoff format to wrap up the 2019-20 season.

LeBrun reports, however, that there is quite a bit of work still to be done if a 24-team playoff is to become a reality, but there has been significant progress made this weekend. Talks are expected to continue over the next couple of days with the potential that a plan will officially be outlined next week, as both sides are much closer on what a return to action might look like. Of course, once the Return to Play Committee does come to an agreement, it must pass through the NHL Executive Board and be approved.

On top of that, there is a Board of Governors meeting on Monday. Whether NHL commissioner Gary Bettman will have a deal ready to pass on by then is unknown unless the Return to Play Committee can come to an agreement in the next 24 hours.

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Originally posted on Pro Hockey Rumors By Holger Stolzenberg | Last updated 5/17/20

NBA advising players, staff to avoid flying when returning to team

NBA teams have begun re-opening their practice facilities in areas of the country where stay-at-home restrictions have been lifted, but the league continues to stress the importance of following safety protocols. One of those is to avoid flying whenever possible.

The NBA sent a memo to teams this week urging them to have players and staff members drive rather than fly when returning to work, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports.

Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports By Steve DelVecchio | Last updated 5/14/20

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Commissioner Gary Bettman not contemplating canceling NHL season

Well hockey fans, it looks like there’s no sign of the NHL canceling its season amid the coronavirus pandemic.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman appeared as a guest in a virtual town hall hosted by the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday and noted canceling the season is “not something I’m even contemplating.”

“I believe that if the right time comes, and the right circumstances, based on all of the options that we’re considering and our ability to execute them, we’ll get this season done,” Bettman said, according to Curtis Pashelka of The Mercury News. “I don’t want to sound Pollyanna, but canceling is too easy a solution. That means you stop working hard to do all of the things that we’re doing, and I ultimately believe that there will be an opportunity.”

The NHL has only canceled its season twice… in 1919 because of the Spanish flu and in 2005 because of the lockout.

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By Erin Walsh | Last updated 5/13/20

Pac-12 responds to California State University’s decision to keep campuses closed through 2020

On Tuesday, the California State University system made a stunning announcement that all 23 campuses would be closed for the fall semester. In the announcement, CSU Chancellor Timothy White said the universities will have classes online rather than have students return to campus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The announcement was significant for college football in the state of California. Three of the six Mountain West Conference West Division teams are affected by it. Now the Pac-12 has responded with a statement of its own to address this situation.

The Pac-12 statement, shared by Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports, indicates the Power 5 conference is not ready to make any decision:

“The Pac-12 and our member universities will make our own determinations on when our student-athletes can return to play and when and how campuses will reopen to students. These decisions will be based first and foremost on the health and well-being of all those connected to the Pac-12, and informed by the advice of public health and medical experts along with the state and local governmental orders. Every day we are learning new and important information that will inform our decisions, and we believe that there is great benefit to having as much relevant data as possible before making such decisions.”

It’s hard to argue with the logic behind this statement from the Pac-12. The most prudent thing to do, while there is still plenty of time, is to wait and see.

Logistically, that may present other challenges, but it’s difficult to make wise long-term decisions about things in this ever-evolving climate.

That said, it appears some of the other top schools in California are already leaning toward no classes this fall.

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Originally posted on Sportsnaut | By Jesse Reed | Last updated 5/13/20

Report: NFL season could begin on Oct. 8

Even before the NFL released its schedule for the 2020 season, the league was confident it would play a full 16-game schedule on time despite the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with a second wave of the coronavirus looming, the NFL could be forced to change its schedule.

While the league released a full 2020 schedule this past week, officials crafted it to make the schedule portable. As a result, if the COVID-19 pandemic worsens or team owners decide they don’t want to play in empty stadiums, the NFL could make a major adjustment to the upcoming season.

According to NBC Sports’ Peter King, the NFL’s portable schedule would move the first four weeks of the season into January. As a result, the 2020 season would start on Thursday, Oct. 8 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers set to face the Chicago Bears on “Thursday Night Football.”

League officials have already discussed delaying the season by a month to buy additional time during the COVID-19 pandemic. By delaying the season a month, teams in states with bans on mass gatherings through September, could potentially start their season with fans in attendance.

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Originally posted on Sportsnaut – By Matt Johnson | Last updated 5/11/20