Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony on track for August but will adapt if NFL schedule delayed


Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Pro Football Hall of Fame president David Baker said this week that the Hall of Fame Game, induction ceremony, and other festivities remain scheduled to take place from August 6-9 in Canton, Ohio. 

“The Pro Football Hall of Fame is planning on kicking off the NFL’s season in Canton on August 6th at the Hall of Fame Game with a full and safe schedule of Enshrinement activities for the best four days in football,” Baker said, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “If the NFL season is delayed for any reason, we will adapt accordingly.”

While the NFL has made numerous changes to its typical offseason schedule, the league has made no reference to the possibility of delaying the start of the 2020 season. Last month, while on a conference call with major league sports commissioners, President Donald Trump reportedly told commissioner Roger Goodell he believes the NFL should be able to start their season in September. 

Dr. Allan Sills, the NFL’s chief medical officer, is not entirely sure that will happen. Sills, who is heading the league’s response to COVID-19, recently said that widespread testing “would have to be available before the reopening of the league could be contemplated,” according to NFL Network’s Judy Battista. Sills said that the availability of point care testing, where a test can be administered and results are returned quickly, will be a critical factor with determining when teams are allowed to return to their facilities. While this type of testing is not currently available, Sills, without offering a specific timetable, is confident that they will be soon. 

“As long as we’re still in a place where when a single individual tests positive for the virus that you have to quarantine every single person who was in contact with them in any shape, form or fashion, then I don’t think you can begin to think about reopening a team sport,” Sills said. “Because we’re going to have positive cases for a very long time.”

NFL teams have currently been operating from home after Goodell prohibited teams from going to their facilities last month. Goodell, despite reported pushback from the league’s general managers, has not postponed the NFL Draft, which will virtually take place from April 23-25. The NFL’s offseason activities have also been postponed indefinitely. 

The Steelers and Cowboys are scheduled to face off in Canton’s Tom Benson Stadium on Thursday, August 6, with the Hall of Fame’s annual induction ceremony slated to take place on Saturday, August 8. A special “centennial celebration” for the 10 senior inductees and three contributors in the 2020 Hall of Fame class will have their own ceremony on Friday, Sept. 18. 





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