Though no major American sports league has resumed play during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ross believes the NFL will start as scheduled on Sept. 10 — and could even feature fans in the seats.
“I think there definitely will be a football season this year,” Ross said Tuesday on CNBC. “Real question is, will there be fans in the stadium? Right now — today — we’re planning to have fans in the stadium.”
Last season, Miami averaged over 63,000 fans per home game — ranking 23rd in the league — and will be even more intriguing this season with rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Current plans for Hard Rock Stadium would cap attendance at 15,000 fans, who would wear masks, sit spread throughout the stadium, enter in staggered intervals and avoid concession lines by ordering food from their seats.
The plan unveiled by Dolphins CEO/president Tom Garfinkel early this month hasn’t yet been green-lit by the NFL or local government, though Hard Rock Stadium was the first public facility to earn the Global Biorisk Advisory Council’s STAR accreditation, which evaluates a facility’s proficiency in cleaning, disinfecting and disease prevention.
“We all want to see life back to normal,” Ross said. “We all miss our sports. The NFL, I think, will be ready to go. I know we’re all looking forward to it. I know I am.”