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Panthers’ David Tepper Optimistic for Games with Fans in Attendance



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Carolina Panthers’ owner David Tepper is confident that there should be enough tests for coronavirus by the fall so NFL teams can play games in stadiums with fans in attendance, according to ESPN’s David Newton.

Tepper’s Panthers are one of 20 NFL teams that play in open-air stadiums, with 5 others playing in stadiums with retractable roofs.

“You won’t be playing having full stadiums, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fans in the stadium either,” Tepper said, during an interview with CNBC on Wednesday. “If you’re comfortable being in a closed airplane for a cross-country trip, 18 inches apart, maybe with two seats in between you and being 5 feet away from each other, you might be comfortable in an open-air stadium.”

Currently, the league is exploring contingency plans in the case of the pandemic worsening, with one of those plans including a delay of the start of the 2020 regular season, possibly until the month of October.

Additionally, the league has discussed teams playing in empty stadiums as well.

However, Tepper believes that there will be enough tests by the fall to ensure that players are “safe of the field”, and pointed to European soccer leagues who have announced their intentions to resume play this spring.

Tepper added that it would be “practical” for the NFL to construct a plan for some NFL fans to attend games, even if they have to wear face coverings and practice social distancing.

“There should be some amount of fans in the stadiums, depending on what locale and where you are and what the local rules are,” Tepper said.

The NFL is hopeful that they can open the regular season on time, and that the nation is safer from coronavirus so that fans can attend games safely.


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Anthony DiMoro is the creator of Sports Rants and the CEO of Elite Rank Media. He is a former Contributor for Forbes and the Huffington Post where he covered sports, social media, and SEO. Anthony formerly hosted the 'Forbes SportsMoney Podcast'.