President (and WWE Hall of Famer) Donald Trump planned to hold a conference call at noon Eastern today (Sat., April 4) with the commissioners of most major sports leagues operating in the United States.
Organized sports have been shut down since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic. It’s speculated that a purpose of the call will be on when and how to change that. The presence of WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon Vince McMahon and UFC President Dana White is seen as a sign of that. Both organizations, along with WWE competitor AEW, have persisted in planning and holding events while most other sports and entertainment productions have shuttered.
Scheduled participants on call with Trump:— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 4, 2020
NBA – Adam Silver
WNBA – Cathy Engelbert
MLB – Rob Manfred
NFL – Roger Goodell
NHL – Gary Bettman
PGA Tour – Jay Monahan
UFC – Dana White
WWE - Vince McMahon
NASCAR – John Middlebrook or Jim France.
MLS – Don Garber.
Notice: No NCAA. https://t.co/ZqKhN6sdGO
Given that the call was announced by the White House, reports of what’s discussed will surely follow.
UPDATE: According to ESPN, the key takeaway from the call was that the President believes the NFL will be able to start their season on time (the regular season is currently set to begin on Sept. 10). He also said he hopes we’ll have fans back in arenas and stadiums by August or September. Adam Schefter and Adrian Wojnarowski’s report says “it is currently unclear if medical experts find that to be a realistic timeline amid the current coronavirus pandemic.”
Trump also floated the idea the leagues could lobby Congress for tax concessions to jump start attendance when they return. For example, by making tickets and concession stand purchases deductible.