The NFL could have the fall football stage to itself, if the NFL finds a way to play its 2020 games.
Michael Smith of Sports Business Journal reports that one of the scenarios for playing college football in 2020 consists of moving the season to July, August, and September.
The decision to accelerate the season would be driven by concerns that the American coronavirus epidemic could subside in the warmer months and return in the fall. An abbreviated college football season played in the summer months could be the best, and only, way to get a college football season accomplished.
The idea remains in its very early stages, and it would hinge on a variety of factors, from whether campuses would be able to staff the games to whether TV partners would embrace the idea to whether fans would show up in sweltering heat to whether fans would be able to attend the games at all.
Smith reports that alternative scenarios like a summer season will be discussed by the powers-that-be, and that it ultimately could be the only way to play the games in 2020.
If that happens, the NFL could try to schedule a fall season that would include Saturday games, perhaps in the same windows during which games are played on Sundays. This would help recoup lost revenue, if fans can’t attend the games in person. It also would require Congress to waive the prohibition on televising Friday and Saturday games between Labor Day weekend and early December, the longstanding quid pro quo for the NFL’s broadcast antitrust exemption.
However it plays out, creativity, flexibility, and unpredictability will be a major part of the overall sports experience, for the foreseeable future and maybe beyond.