Changing Massachusetts laws will allow the New England Patriots to take the next step in returning to work this summer as they prepare for a new season.
As the calendar flips over from May to June, the New England Patriots and the rest of the NFL seem to be inching their way ever-forward in the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic.
While other leagues have been forced to postpone their season starts or suspend their schedules mid-season altogether, positive developments in the world of sports are slowly beginning to occur.
Many international professional soccer leagues have announced plans to pick their seasons back up in June, and both the NHL and NBA seem closer than ever to picking their 2019/2020 seasons back up in some capacity this summer.
The NFL has benefitted from the fact that their official regular season doesn’t begin until September. While free agency and the NFL Draft certainly looked different than they ever have before this past spring, professional football has largely been less affected than other professional sports leagues in this country (and in the world).
Massachusetts professional sports teams can return to practice facilities
And now it seems we have even more good news — and more of an optimistic sign that this season of the NFL could get back on track to be played this fall.
According to SB Nation’s Bernd Buchmasser of Pats Pulpit, the New England Patriots will be allowed to reopen their team practice facilities on Saturday, June 6. The news comes as Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker made it clear that professional sports in general could soon be returning to the state.
The Celtics, Bruins, Red Sox, and Revolution also have been permitted to reopen their practice facilities next week.
This news also comes hard on the heels of the NFL’s announcement that many customer-facing operations — such as team ticket offices — can reopen on Monday, June 1.
Most teams in the NFL have either canceled their offseason workout programs altogether or transitioned them into something more virtual and individual-based. It remains to be seen when the league will allow players, coaches, and staffers to gather for minicamp and training camp — though the NFL did announce a full preseason slate earlier this month.
The Hall of Fame Game is scheduled to occur on Thursday, August 6, in Canton, Ohio. The Patriots will play their first preseason game — if they’re allowed to — against the Lions the following Thursday, August 13, in Foxborough.
We should learn a lot about where we’re headed with this year in the pandemic-ridden NFL over the remaining two months that stand between where we’re at now in the calendar and the official start of the preseason.