Dolphins owner: ‘We’re planning to have fans in the stadium’
Stephen Ross, the owner of the Miami Dolphins, said Tuesday that the team is planning to host fans in Hard Rock Stadium this season as uncertainty remains about the NFL and other sports leagues during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I think there definitely will be a football season this year,” Ross told CNBC. “Real question is, will there be fans in the stadium? I think right now — today — we’re planning to have fans in the stadium.”
“We’re prepared either way, and hopefully there will be fans in the stadiums,” he added.
The NFL has not made any decisions on whether fans will be allowed to attend games in the fall, but it has released its full 16-game schedule, set to start on Sept. 10.
“But certainly the NFL, I think, will be ready to go,” Ross said. “I know we’re all looking forward to it. I know I am.”
Earlier this month, Dolphins CEO and President Tom Garfinkel released mock-up plans for how fans could watch the team at Hard Rock Stadium, ESPN reported. The plan would allow only 15,000 fans and require that they all wear masks, use staggered entrances and exits and order refreshments from their seats.
Hard Rock was the first public facility to get the Global Biorisk Advisory Council’s STAR accreditation, which is the standard for facilities to add cleaning, disinfecting and infectious disease prevention policies to reduce the spread of infectious diseases like the coronavirus, according to ESPN.
The NFL started allowing teams to reopen their facilities, if local guidelines allow, for limited staff on May 19.
The NFL was in its offseason when most sports worldwide shut down over the pandemic. But experts such as White House coronavirus task force member Anthony Fauci have warned of an “inevitable” resurgence of the virus in the fall.
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