(Miami) Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross says he believes the NFL will play in 2020, with or without spectators.
"I think there will certainly be a football season this year," said Ross in an interview with CNBC. The real question is: will there be spectators in the stadiums? "
The NFL has revealed that it expects to play a full schedule from September 10, but is preparing emergency plans in the event that the coronavirus pandemic necessitates relocation or playing without spectators.
'At the moment, today, we plan to have spectators in the stadiums. But I think the NFL is very flexible so we can start on time and provide that entertainment that is really needed for all of us in this country.'
The league has adhered to its schedule for the free agent market, the draft and the publication of its schedule. Some teams reopened their training complexes on a limited basis last week.
The NBA, the NHL and the MLB are on hiatus due to the pandemic.
"The thing we miss is our sports," added Ross. I don't think many people realize it until they are deprived of it. Certainly, the NFL, I think, will be ready to move on. I know we are all impatient. That's my case. "
Earlier this month, the Dolphins announced that their stadium is committed to becoming the first to receive accreditation from an industry cleaning association for its infectious disease prevention efforts. President and CEO Tom Garfinkel said the team is considering social distancing for the games, and possibly limiting the crowd to 15,000.
"We did a lot of things in Miami," said Ross. We're ready anyway, and I hope there will be fans in the stadiums. "
Ross, a New York real estate developer and president of Related Companies, noted that the hospitality and retail sectors are the hardest hit by the pandemic.
"You are going to assist a large stream of files before the bankruptcy court," he concluded.