NFL

NFL planning to kick off full season as scheduled

The National Football League (NFL), the only major American sporting league so far largely unaffected by the coronavirus outbreak, says it is on course to begin its season on time in September.

It's unknown whether fans will be allowed to attend kickoff in September

A detailed view of the NFL Kickoff and We Ready logos on display prior to the game between the Miami Dolphins and the Baltimore Ravens at Hard Rock Stadium on September 08, 2019 in Miami, Fla. (Mark Brown/Getty Images)

The National Football League (NFL), the only major American sporting league so far largely unaffected by the coronavirus outbreak, says it is on course to begin its season on time in September.

"We plan announcing late next week the full regular season schedule that begins with Kickoff on September 10 and culminates with the Super Bowl in Tampa February 7, 2021," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an email to Reuters.

Each team is expected to play 16 regular season games as per usual, though the league is evaluating contingency plans should this prove untenable, multiple media outlets have reported.

It is yet to be announced whether fans will be allowed to attend games.

While other major sporting leagues, including the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Major League Baseball (MLB), have shut down due to the coronavirus, the NFL has been able to buy time before making any major decisions.

Its season ended in early February, shortly before evidence of a major coronavirus outbreak in the United States became widely known.

Some areas of the U.S. are now starting to emerge from lockdown as rules are relaxed even as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases rises in some states.

Last week's NFL draft attracted record U.S. television ratings in a country starved of live sporting action.

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