Apr 5, 2020 - Sports

Trump sees "sooner rather than later" return of pro sports

Mike Allen

Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

President Trump predicted yesterday that the Republican National Convention will open as scheduled in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Aug. 24 — "We have no contingency plan" — setting a new bar for a phased return to business in America.

The big picture: With the virus peak for New York projected to be Thursday, and for the nation April 15, Trump continued to leaven dire warnings with a sunny streak.

  • "This will be probably the toughest week — between this week and next week," he said Saturday in the White House briefing room.

After emphasizing dire warnings earlier in the week, Trump yesterday was back in reopen mode:

  • "I want fans back in the arenas," Trump said. "I can’t tell you a date, but I think it’s gonna be sooner rather than later."

Before the briefing, Trump held a conference call with 13 commissioners of major men's and women's U.S. pro sports leagues, including WWE chair Vince McMahon.

  • A person with direct knowledge of the call told AP that Trump believes the NFL season will start as scheduled Sept. 10, with fans in seats.
  • But California Gov. Gavin Newsom said when asked if the NFL season will start on time: "I'm not anticipating that happening in this state."

🗞️ P.S.: The cover of Sunday's WashPost Sports section: "Wait till next year? Uncertainty abounds, but some experts say the games may not return until 2020," by Adam Kilgore.

  • "Disease experts suggest that the possibility feared most in the sports world — no major events for the rest of the year — may be more real than many believe."
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