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League exploring backup venues for 2020 NFL season

Allegiant Stadium rendering 2019

League officials are reportedly reviewing alternative venues for the 2020 NFL schedule should construction work at Allegiant Stadium and SoFi Stadium be halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The changes would involve the Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders.

As we noted last week, the coronavirus has impacted construction of SoFi Stadium and Allegiant Stadium, with the NFL developing a contingency plan should the season open but the stadium is not available. Construction has slowed at SoFi Stadium, but it’s still ongoing, and stadium officials say they plan to be ready for a September opening. Similarly, Raiders owner Mark Davis says Allegiant Stadium is set to open this fall as well, though some events scheduled before the beginning of the NFL season, including concerts, will undoubtedly be scheduled.

According to Forbes, the contingency plan is pretty boring: play early-season games at Sam Boyd Stadium instead of Allegiant Stadium. Gosh, no one could see that coming, especially with a return to the Oakland Coliseum not in the cards. Similarly, both the Rams and the Chargers could begin the season on the road if Gov. Gavin Newsom’s prediction about mass gatherings in California being closed down in September comes to pass. Mentioned by Forbes are El Paso and San Antonio, but if the rest of the country is hosting NFL games in September, it’s more likely we see home games swapped and other adjustments made–remember, we don’t have a firm 2020 NFL schedule yet. In any case, we’re way too far out on the 2020 season to be looking at firm contingency plans.

With hourly news about the spread of the coronavirus impacting the sports-business and facilities industries, it’s more important than ever to stay up with the latest news in the venues industry. That’s why we’re launching a new Venues Digest newsletter focusing on coronavirus information across the ballparks, arenas, stadiums, theater and performing-arts worlds. For now it will appear daily, and for now it will be free of charge to industry professionals. Sign up here.

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