The National Football League confirmed that they will release its full 2020 schedule later this week which includes a season opener on Sept. 10 and Super Bowl LV scheduled to be played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida, on Feb. 7 in spite of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We plan to start on time,” said NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy.
NFL executive vice president Troy Vincent told The Associated Press this week that the league is doing “reasonable and responsible planning” regarding health and safety during the coronavirus pandemic.
Even though the league has not made any alterations to its fall plans, it has, however, been evaluating contingency plans in case things are not able to go ahead as planned.
One of those contingencies is delaying the season until mid-October, according to the Sports Business Journal. Playing games in empty stadiums and eliminating bye weeks have also been discussed as potential options on the table.
One option not on the table, according to ESPN, is gathering players at a centralized location to execute a season as the NBA and MLB have discussed ideas like playing at a neutral site such as Walt Disney World, Las Vegas or Arizona.
For now, the NFL and NFLPA have agreed to keep buildings closed until every state in which a team resides lifts its stay-at-home mandate and teams are currently preparing to conduct offseason workouts virtually instead of in person.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced last week that he will not accept a salary during the pandemic.
The NFL draft that was held last month was the most-watched in league history and the NFL raised more than $100 million for coronavirus relief during the draft.