No Testing Fumble

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    • Twenty-four teams have announced reduced or no crowds for this season.

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The NFL and NFLPA have come to an agreement around coronavirus protocols ahead of training camp. The deal calls for daily testing at the start of camps, as well as usage of proximity tracking devices on players and staff for contact tracing.

The two sides have clashed over the lack of a solidified plan with training camps looming – most teams are scheduled to open their camps on July 28. Several high-profile players, including J.J. Watt and Russell Wilson, have shared tweets with the hashtag #WeWantToPlay and their concerns about returning to play.

In response, the NFL has offered to completely cut the preseason, a decision the players had been pushing for. That would also allow for a longer training camp acclimation period. 

Coronavirus testing across the proposed season is expected to cost the NFL more than $75 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.

That financial cost will be exacerbated by the fact that an increasing number of teams will likely play home games with no fans. Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis said he expects the team’s debut in $1.9 billion Allegiant Stadium will be without fans. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy told the New York Giants and Jets that fans will not be allowed to attend games at MetLife Stadium.

Twenty-four of the NFL’s 32 teams have already announced plans to play in front of reduced crowds or no fans this season. The NFL could lose up to $4 billion of its annual $15 billion in revenue if fans are not on hand to buy tickets, suites, parking passes, merchandise, and concessions, among other gameday revenues.