Teams that travel for training camp are being told to adjust plans for the 2020 season.
News from Ben Fischer of the Sports Business Journal:
NFL teams have been informally advised that they will have to conduct training camps at home facilities, no traveling, two sources tell me. Official memo expected soon.
— Ben Fischer (@BenFischerSBJ) June 2, 2020
Fischer tweets that NFL teams have been told to host training camps at team facilities. The news comes shortly after ESPN’s David Newton reported the Carolina Panthers would not travel to Wofford University’s campus in South Carolina for training camp, marking the first time the team didn’t visit Spartanburg for camp since the franchise’s inception in 1995. An official dispatch from the league to its teams is expected to come down soon.
As for the Bears, this doesn’t change anything. Earlier in the year, the team announced it wasn’t going to hold training camp in Bourbonnais — where it had held camp for the last 18 years. And with a new and improved Halas Hall loaded with all sorts of bells and whistles aimed at improving player development on multiple levels, there was sensible reasoning behind the move (even if it was wildly unpopular among a chunk of the fanbase).
Even with the move from Bourbonnais to Lake Forest, the Bears were expected to open the doors of Halas Hall to some fans who still wanted to attend training camp. Unfortunately, that’s not expected to happen this year. The Athletic’s Adam Jahns tweets that he was told not to expect fans at training camp, citing the decision as being precautionary due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I suppose this would be a sensible decision, seeing that professional teams have not been given the green light to host games with fans in the stands in Illinois to this point.
The NFL has proceeded with business as usual throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, operating in an offseason with tweaks here and there to ensure things are above board. So Tuesday’s news represents the first major change to the league’s teams. We’ll see how things develop in due time.