Although the NFL is currently planning to play a full regular season schedule in 2020, the league is also prepping for the possibility that multiple games could be played without fans or even canceled, and part of that preparation now includes a uniform ticket refund policy that all teams will have to abide by. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent out a memo this week that outlined the policy, which calls for teams to give a full refund to any fans who paid for tickets for any game that might be canceled.
Although that might seem like the obvious thing to do, people around the country have had serious issues getting refunds for multiple things during the Coronavirus pandemic, including concert tickets and airline tickets. According to the NFL memo, which was obtained by the Associated Press, the refund policy reads like this: "All clubs will have in place a policy under which, if a game is canceled, or is played under conditions that prohibit fans from attending, anyone purchasing a ticket directly from the club (i.e., season tickets, group sales and/or partial season plans) will have the option of either receiving a full refund or applying the amount paid toward a future ticket purchase directly from the club."
With the league's COVID-19 policy as outlined, not only will fans get a refund if they buy a ticket from the team, but fans who buy tickets on the secondary market could also be in line for a refund. According to the AP, Ticketmaster and SeatGeek have both promised to offer full refunds. On the other hand, StubHub will only be offering refunds where it's required by state law.
The reason the league sent out the memo this week is that, and once the schedule is out, teams generally start selling tickets almost immediately. By laying out the ticket refund plans now, the league is making sure that NFL fans can buy their tickets with confidence, knowing they can easily get their money back if a game isn't played.
"In preparing for all elements of the 2020 season, including the schedule release, we have considered the unique circumstances facing us this year, and have been clear that all of our decisions will be guided by medical and public health advice and will comply with government regulations," Goodell wrote in the memo. "We will be prepared to make necessary adjustments just as we have in other contexts, such as the offseason program and the draft."
Assuming it doesn't get postponed, the 2020 NFL season is currently scheduled to kick off on Thursday, Sept. 10.