GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Arizona Cardinals are less than one month from kicking off their regular season in San Francisco against the 49ers. As sports have made their return in the U.S., some in "bubbles" some not, but all playing in front of now fans, team and league protocols have been essential to keep the sports in play.
Team 12's Ryan Cody sat down with Arizona Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill to discuss his expectations for the NFL season amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and what his organization is doing to keep players safe.
Bidwill, 55, was traveling on the east coast this summer when he contracted the coronavirus and had to be hospitalized. He was later released, but his coronavirus scare gained him even more perspective on the pandemic.
Training camp has already looked much different for the Cardinals. It kicked off last week, with no fans in attendance.
"We all understand that we have a responsibility to each other to make sure that we are following the protocols," Bidwill told Cardinals Locker Room host Ryan Cody in an exclusive interview.
Players and others in the organization are tested every morning, coaches and staff are wearing masks, equipment is disinfected constantly, temperatures are being checked and the organization is also using electronic monitoring, bracelets that beep when you get within six feet of people.
The team has had no players test positive yet for coronavirus.
It's all part of making sure the NFL season actually happens in 2020.
As sports like baseball struggle with positive tests, Bidwill says the NFL is ready to handle playing outside of a "bubble."
"We believe that there will be infections, but we've got a plan to address them and the whole plan now is to go ahead with the season," Bidwill said.
Last month, the Cardinals told season ticket holders that all previous season ticket sales have been voided and that credits remain on their accounts.
The organization said for the regular season, "it is not clear at this point how many spectators – if any - will be permitted to attend Cardinals home games in 2020."
Bidwill says it's not set in stone, however.
"I'm not ruling it out, but obviously we all know the atmosphere here and I think a lot of the things that have been done are important, especially as business leaders, making sure to keep the public safe," Bidwill said. "We're an organization that brings people together and we need to make sure we keep the public safe, but also our players, our coaches, so that we can proceed and play in the games."
Bidwill says he is optimistic that the NFL can complete a full season.
"I think we've got the best possible plans we could at this point. I look forward and I think we've got a good plan heading into the NFL's regular season and I'm very hopeful that it's going to be a fantastic one and we get to February 8th down in Tampa."
Part 2 of our interview with Michael Bidwill, where he opens up about his hospitalization due to COVID-19 this summer, will air at 12 News at 10 p.m. Thursday and on Today in AZ Friday morning.