A top Miami Dolphins official believes it is possible the NFL could safely play the upcoming season, as long as several preventive measures are put into place.
Tom Garfinkel, who serves as vice chairman, president and CEO of the Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium, said a season could be possible without fans in the stands, if coronavirus testing becomes available by that time for all players, coaches, referees and other game workers.
“We’re spending a lot of time talking about what [a season] might look like in the future,” Garfinkel said on Instagram Tuesday night.
“But I think if we get in a situation where come September, August where at a minimum, we can test people that need to put a game on and make sure everybody is safe and [tests] negative — you think of players, coaches, referees, cameramen, that sort of thing and it’s conceivable you could put on games without any fans if you have to,” his message continued.
We're going virtual! Our 2020 @NFL Draft Party presented by @BudLight Seltzer will be taking place in our @Facebook Group on April 23rd.
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) April 6, 2020
President Trump was also optimistic for the NFL season to begin on time this September — with fans in attendance — during a conference call last weekend with leaders from 13 sports leagues.
The league has taken various steps in recent weeks to continue its operations, including a plan to move forward with the 2020 draft, which is set for April 23-25.
To pull that off, team facilities will remain closed while front-office executives make selections from their homes. The Dolphins own 14 draft picks this year, more than any other NFL team.
The NFL also prohibited travel for team personnel to meet with players and players taking pre-draft visits to team facilities last month. Additionally, it also delayed the start of teams’ off-season workout programs, which were set to start this month.