In a conference call with major league sports commissioners on Saturday, President Donald Trump said he believes the NFL season should start on time in September, sources familiar with the call told ESPN.
Trump also said he hopes to have fans back in stadiums and arenas by August and September, sources said, though it is currently unclear if medical experts find that to be a realistic timeline amid the current coronavirus pandemic.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver told those on the call that the leagues were the first to shut down and that they would love to lead the way in starting the economy once there was an “all clear” from public health officials, sources familiar with the call told ESPN.
The NBA was the first league to suspend play on March 11.
Trump also raised the idea of the leagues working together to lobby for tax credits that used to exist for entertainment expenses, such as the ability to deduct concessions and tickets from taxes, sources said. That would be a way for leagues to jumpstart fans’ ability to return to stadiums in a difficult economy.
The call included 12 major sports commissioners and top executives, including the NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball, NHL, Major League Soccer, WNBA, WWE Wrestling, the PGA Tour, UFC, IndyCar, LPGA, and Breeders Cup, according to a White House pool report.