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Of the five major American pro sports leagues, the National Football League has had the relative luxury of being the only one where no games have had to be canceled due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Packers President Mark Murphy told WTMJ’s Greg Matzek during our Town Hall on Tuesday that nearly four months before the first NFL regular season games allows for time to make decisions, and to watch and learn from how other leagues handle the situation.
“We can learn a lot from what Major League Baseball is doing now, what the NBA and NHL are doing. We’re following that very closely to see what things may work for them, as it relates to testing, contact tracing, different things they’re doing to get their athletes into the facility, whether it’s games without fans,” said Murphy.
“We’re planning right now is to play a full season. We don’t want to set false deadlines or speculate.”
He said that when it comes to what the team will do if it’s deemed unsafe for large crowds to gather for games, the Packers will follow medical and CDC guidelines.
“We’re not going to put our fans, number one, or our players, coaches and employees in a situation where their health and safety is at risk,” said Murphy.
“We’re not going to have people come to the stadium if there’s a high risk, or any risk.”
Murphy explained that when it comes to day-to-day budgets, the Packers and most of the NFL are currently in a reasonable state because only two percent of the team’s revenue comes in per month during these offseason periods.
“That’s something we can manage. As we get further along, it’s going to be more challenging.”
The financial situation of his team, and of the tens of thousands of season ticket holders, has led to his team adjusting its season ticket payment policy.
“Knowing people are struggling financially, we moved back and postponed the deadline for season tickets from March 15 to June 1 to give people extra time,” he said. Our ticket office has been in touch with a number of people who have questions. We’re working through those.”
Murphy stated how already, the NFL has played a part in giving the general public one of the few live sporting respites available after the cancellation of every major professional and collegiate sports league.
“In some ways, and this is especially true with the draft, fans really appreciated the diversion.”