The Pro Football Hall of Fame has expressed optimism the game and ceremony would happen the first week of August as planned with fans in the stands. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine put a damper on that optimism Tuesday.
“As much as I hate to say this, because we’ve all been looking forward to that, and I know how much it means to the Canton area and the Stark County area and really across the country, it’s a great, great event that we’ve been looking forward to, [but] having a crowd that size is highly unlikely,” DeWine said, via Ben Axelrod of WKYC. “Certainly, it could not occur today. It would be very dangerous to do it today.
“Again, we have to see where we are at that point, but that’s a large crowd, a lot of people together. These are the things that we’ve talked about all the way through this as we open Ohio up and we get back to work and we get back to doing the things that we like, probably the last things that are going to be able to be open are the big crowds, particularly when you have big crowds that are close together. So we have to continue to look at it and make decisions as we move forward, but if the question was, ‘Could that even occur today?’ the answer would be, ‘No.'”
The Hall of Fame Game between the Cowboys and Steelers is scheduled for Aug. 6, with the Hall of Fame induction ceremony two days later.
The Hall sold more than 20,000 game tickets within a half-hour of when they went on sale, and fans have purchased more than 10,000 tickets to the enshrinement ceremony.
July 1 long has appeared the likely deadline for a final decision on the weekend.
The Hall has several contingency plans, including sliding the game and ceremonies back later in August. They also could move the 2020 enshrinement to a spring weekend in 2021 or combine both classes in August 2021.