Report: President Trump Hopeful to Have Fans in Stadiums by 'August and September'
In a conference call with all of the pro sports commissioners on Saturday, President Donald Trump said he hopes to have fans in stadiums and arenas by August and September, according to a report by ESPN.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter and Adrian Wojnarowski, President Trump expects the NFL season to start on time in September. The start of the MLB season, along with the resumption of the NBA, NHL, and MLS seasons are still unknown.
Additionally, ESPN reported that President Trump proposed the idea of leagues working together to implement tax credits for fans, giving them the ability to deduct tickets and concessions from taxes. This could give fans incentive to spend money amid the current state of the economy.
According to a White House pool report, the call included commissioners and top executives from 12 pro sports leagues, including the NFL, MLB, NBA, WNBA, NHL, MLS, PGA Tour, LPGA, UFC, WWE, IndyCar, and Breeders Cup.
"The President recognized the good work being done by many teams and players to care for their communities, workforces, and fan bases across the Nation," White House spokesperson Judd Deere said in the report. "President Trump encouraged them to continue to support their fellow Americans during this challenging time."
It is still unclear from medical experts and government agencies on how realistic the President's expectations are amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. The federal government mandated social distancing practices through April 30 and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) currently has a recommendation in place to limit mass gatherings of 50 or more people through May 10. The situation remains very fluid and could change depending on how COVID-19 spreads in the coming weeks.
For Major League Baseball, a best-case scenario would be a start sometime in June, but there are beliefs among MLB circles that July 4 could be a possibility for Opening Day. Regarding the President's comments, this would mean MLB games would be played without fans for at least one month.
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