NFL team facilities to close Wednesday because of pandemic
Memo from commissioner offers few exceptions to closing down stadium facilities, offices
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Starting Wednesday, all NFL team facilities will close because of the coronavirus outbreak.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to teams, ordering owners to close their facilities by 6 p.m. Wednesday with limited exceptions.
ESPN's Adam Schefter got a copy of the memo and shared it on Twitter.
The memo that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent to clubs sent this evening. pic.twitter.com/66RuwELW08— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 25, 2020
Because many teams already suspended normal business operations, the decision isn’t expected to be a major change.
Many franchises already have employees working remotely and players are not allowed in facilities.
This comes as parking lots at some stadiums, like TIAA Bank Field, are being used as testing sites for COVID-19.
The only exceptions to the closures are for those providing ongoing medical treatment to players and those maintaining and securing the facilities.
The memo says
Players already we not allowed in facilities until the end of the month, and NFL-related physicals have been indefinitely discontinued.
Roughly two weeks ago, the Jaguars stopped all team staff from traveling and encouraged employees to work from home.
The outbreak is also impacting next month’s NFL Draft.
The league is allowing teams to interview potential draftees over the phone.
The draft is scheduled to start April 23, but some general managers want to push it back.
They’re worried there won’t be enough time for player physicals and testing.
Owner Shad Khan is also donating $1 million to support local organizations in their response to the crisis, including roughly $400,000 toward Florida's First Coast Relief Fund, $75,000 each for Feeding Northeast Florida and the Clara White Mission.
Lot J of TIAA Bank Field is also being used as a federally sponsored testing site for the coronavirus.
According to the NFL, all team facilities will be closed at least until April 8, but teams can still sign players and sell tickets for the upcoming season.
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