The NFL will release its 2020 schedule by May 9. Unless it won’t.
Despite repeated comments by the league indicating that the 2020 regular-season schedule will be released on or before May 9, the NFL currently is considering postponing the schedule release.
Ben Fischer of Sports Business Daily reports that the league currently is debating whether to further postpone the schedule release, which usually comes out before the draft. Currently, broadcasters expect to the schedule to be released on Thursday, May 7. Some inside the league office, along with “ticket industry insiders,” are arguing against it, explaining that committing to game times (and selling tickets to those games) without more clarity about whether the 2020 season can proceed with fans present would amount to “inviting trouble.”
Per Fischer, Commissioner Roger Goodell is taking a fresh look at the situation this week, now that the draft has come and gone.
Team travel planners, broadcasters, and sales teams want certainty. Secondary-ticket companies are concerned about buying and selling tickets giving the high likelihood that refunds will be required.
It’s unclear how much time is required to provide the clarity needed for the purposes of selling or not selling tickets to games. Regardless, the NFL now has a problem to resolve far thornier than restructuring the offseason program, especially since it directly involves the critical relationship between pro football and its paying customers.