With the sporting world at a standstill because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, there is plenty of uncertainty about when Chicago’s favorite teams will return to their respective stadiums and arenas, and that includes the fate of the upcoming Chicago Bears season.
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker was asked whether he believed the Bears would start the 2020 season on time, and while their opening date is still at least five months away, he still expressed uncertainty about what the future holds for the NFL and the Bears.
“The Bears are a great team, whether they’re playing or not, but I will say this: it’s not up to us,” the governor said during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “We don’t know. None of us really knows. The truth is that no one predicts now that we’re going to have (a) treatment any time in the new few weeks or even in the next month, and no one really knows if we’ll have it by September.
“It’s either going to be a treatment and herd immunity that ultimately allows us to open everything back up, or it’s a vaccine,” he added.
The NFL allowed its free agency period to move forward despite the COVID-19 outbreak, but moved its annual draft to a virtual format and canceled an in-person gathering in Las Vegas in late April. All major sports leagues in the country are currently shut down, and with stay-at-home orders in place in most U.S. states, it’s unclear when sports will be able to resume in any form.
President Donald Trump, during a call with the commissioners of all the major American sports leagues over the weekend, reportedly expressed hope that the NFL could start its season on time in September, but that optimism was not shared by several governors, including Pritzker and California Governor Gavin Newsom, who is skeptical about the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers being able to open the season on time in their new stadium.
During a daily press briefing, Newsom told reporters that he does not anticipate that fans will be allowed into NFL stadiums for the start of the season.