From the Press Box: Your move, football
This past Tuesday, the Countdown to NFL Kickoff ticked under the 100 days mark.
Football, both NFL and college, appear to be the lone sports unsure if they will start and, if the do, on time.
The NBA and NHL have each set tentative dates and places. MLB, while still in financial discussions, at least know they want to come back soon.
Kevin Siefert of ESPN reports the NFL has worked on several contingency plans in the event they have to stop or delay the NFL season, including pushing the Super Bowl until the end of February.
Later this month universities are re-opening their facilities to players and the NFL facilities began to open on May 19 to essential personnel.
Virtual programs are still continuing through June 12, when the NFL and NFLPA will discuss whether or not it’s safe for players to return to the facilities. The latest day, per the NFL/NFLPA collective bargaining agreement, for teams to host workouts on June 26.
As for training camp, the NFL has to put plans into place minimizing the chance of the virus spreading and quick action should there be a case. Local governments also have to give the green light.
Another caveat is the potential for economic/financial concessions between the players and owners. Yes, again. Even as unemployment and families across America struggle to make ends meet, the billionaires and millionaires could throw down again.
I am very confident about football getting the green light by mid-July, even if there are no fans.
NASCAR has painted a small picture of what it could look like from a broadcast angle, but the NFL has 16 games in 16 cities involving travel with 100 plus players, coaches and off-field staff.
As each week passes and the world learns more about the coronavirus, government agencies, corporations and even sports entities become more confident in how they learn to live with it. Add in the continued re-supplying of resources and it becomes more plausible we can at least have football on TV.
The NFL earned around $15 billion dollars in 2018, with more than half in TV deals. Follow the money. No fans at stadiums equals higher television ratings. I doubt online shopping has hurt NFLShop.com on top of that.
According to investopedia, only eight percent of the revenue generated from NFL stadium events (including concerts) is profit to the teams. It is important to point out that 55 percent of that revenue goes toward athletes and musicians.
Playing the games without fans can only drive up that revenue from fans watching at home.
If fans go to lunch at sports bars and restaurants, that increases the revenue generated for the local economies.
The NCAA has a much bigger can of worms to sort through if they want to start on time, but thankfully, time is still a luxury for football.