The NFL is more confident than ever it will have a full 16-game season in 2020 with fans in their seats despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. If the worst-case scenario happens, though, teams are making sure it doesn’t hurt the fans during difficult times.
In a memo sent to NFL teams on Tuesday, obtained by The Washington Post’s Mark Maske, commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed all 32 clubs will have refund policies in place to help fans. If an NFL game is canceled or the team is forced to play in an empty stadium, fans can receive full refunds on any tickets purchased directly from the team.
It’s the latest in an effort from NFL owners to make sure any financial difficulties the league might face doesn’t also hurt fans. The New York Giants recently decided to suspend season ticket payments until July 1 and more teams are stepping up with similar policies for their fans.
While the NFL is still planning on the 2020 season starting on time without restrictions or delays, they are also preparing for a different reality. There are ongoing discussions regarding the possibility of delaying the season. Postponing the start of the regular season into October could provide more time for the ongoing health crisis to improve.
The NFL has also discussed playing games without fans in attendance. While the move would be in the interest of public safety and to follow restrictions against mass gatherings, it would also cost the league billions.
At a time when so many people are dealing with financial hardships, NFL players and team owners could be the next to take a hit during this economic crisis. If that happens, though, it’s good to see fans won’t be asked to take on part of the financial blow.