No Fans in the Stands

As summer is in full swing, many colleges and universities around the country are gearing up to invite students back on to campus for the fall. Many questions remain about what these universities are going to decide about extracurriculars like football, seeing as fall is their playing season. Universities like Clemson and University of Alabama generate millions of dollars in revenue each year just from their football programs but a big factor of that income is made from ticket sales. According to a Washington University report estimated that colleges could lose up to 4 billion dollars if football wasn’t played this season. The NFL has discussed limiting or even eliminating crowds during their 2020 season to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as there is currently no vaccine. Although it may put a dent in their revenue, the NFL makes most of their money from TV deals making this situation pressing but not entirely detrimental.

            The NCAA is strategizing the best plan possible for players and teams to get back on the field but most importantly, stay safe and virus free. Due to the immense amount of time college athletes lost, the NCAA is allowing preseason for the football fall season to begin two weeks before it was scheduled to conduct “slow-speed practices” or “walk-throughs.” Recently, schools have been allowing players to return to campus for optional workouts and the players are required to be tested and monitored for COVID-19.

            The athletic director at University of Oklahoma spoke out about his thoughts for the fall 2020 season but had no confirmed decisions as of yet. “All we can do is focus on the preparation. When I say we’re optimistic and hopeful that we would have a stadium near or full capacity, that’s not me predicting that’s going to happen. When I say we might be at 50% capacity, that’s not me predicting that’s going to happen. When it could be at any smaller capacity, there’s no prediction in anything I’m saying.”

            As the time nears that teams, players and coaches begin to reunite to prepare for a very different season of college football, many questions remain unanswered. Unfortunately, as a vaccine or guaranteed treatment remains in the works, we are left to simply hope for the best and accommodate for any changes that may occur in our normal lives. For many athletes or sports fanatics, this may mean enjoying sporting events from the comfort of their own home but nothing is set in stone.

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