If the options are no football at all or playing games without fans in the stadium this fall, Jim Harbaugh is all in favor of kicking off in front of an empty venue.
The Michigan head coach joined ESPN’s Get Up on Wednesday to talk about the upcoming season. While there have been no decisions made about the prospect of a season just yet, there seems to be growing confidence that football will be back in August and September.
Could there be some changes? Of course. And if those changes include not having fans in attendance as a precaution to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, Harbaugh is all in favor of it.
“You could definitely test both teams, you could test the officials and everybody, but can you test 100,000 fans coming into a stadium?” Harbaugh said, according to The Detroit News. “Probably not. Without a vaccine, you probably couldn’t do that.
“To answer your question, heck yeah I’d be comfortable coaching a game without any fans. If the choice were play in front of no fans or not play, then I would choose to play in front of no fans. And darn near every guy I’ve talked to on our team, that’s the way they feel about it.”
The idea of playing games without spectators has been a conversation piece since the outbreak sidelined all sports across the country in March. It’s still unclear if that’s the answer or not, but certainly decisions on attendance will be coming in the near future.
Would it be a different atmosphere? Absolutely. Games with empty stadiums would certainly be a dramatic shift in what we’re accustomed to seeing on Saturdays in the fall. But if the choice is an empty stadium or no football at all, we’ll all live with seeing a quieter product for a year.