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President Trump to sports team owner: Don’t take out stadium seats

Mike Florio and Peter King examine President Trump's comments about what sports returning will look like, NFL players playing in empty stadiums, and how the MLB model won't work for the NFL.

The coronavirus pandemic could dramatically alter sports attendance, initially win no fans present and, possibly in time, a scattered collection of paid attendees. President Trump believes that won’t be the case.

“Your stadiums are gonna be the way they’ve been for the last 100 years,” Trump said during a Wednesday press conference, via Mike Rodak of “Sports will be the way they used to be. I told one of the owners, he said, ‘Do you think I should take out seats?’ I said, ‘No, you shouldn’t take out seats.’ . . .

“We’re gonna have it the way it was. We’re gonna be back. This virus will eventually be gone. And if it should show up in the fall, we’re gonna put it out very fast. We have great people. We’re gonna put it out very fast.”

The President has alternated in recent weeks between statements that recognize the gravity of the situation and comments that downplay it. Based on currently available information, for example, the suggestion that a second-wave outbreak in the fall will be extinguished quickly is no more realistic than repeated remarks that gave characterized the risk of the virus as “very low,” and that otherwise made the situation sound less dire that it is.