Columbus Lions Season Postponed
THE NATIONAL ARENA LEAUE POSTPONES THE START OF THE 2020 SEASON UNTIL MAY
The National Arena League, the league that the Columbus Lions play in announced a new starting date to the 2020 season.
The Lions home opener was scheduled for April 17th.
The NAL released a statement on Tuesday morning, saying the projected start date is now set for May.
Lions head coach Jason Gibson says his thoughts have shifted to things that are much bigger than arena football.
“Two weeks ago I thought ‘when are we going to start?’ I m thinking what month? Is it a full season? Is it a shortened season? Today, my thoughts are totally different. My thoughts are about our community and our country,” says Gibson. “We are trying to promote our restaurants, making sure our community is safe. The second thing is our sponsors and ticket holders, ‘how do we take care of them?’ And it s difficult, it s really difficult.”
The Lions are not in the same situation the Columbus River Dragons were caught in. Their season hasn’t started yet, which means they haven t had to face large expenses like team housing.
“Luckily for us we haven’t even reported to training camp yet, so nobody’s here.” says Gibson. “It would have been really devastating to bring 40 guys from across the country here, then all of a sudden they re stuck here and then we have to send them home.”
The Lions are doing everything they can to be ready. Communicating with the team via teleconferences and video calls and getting creative with home workouts. But the lions won t be back on the field, until fans can be in the stadium with them.
“Its a good game to watch, I love it. To me it’s not a huge TV sport. It’s an experience in the arena, feeling it, seeing it, hearing it,” said Gibson. “That’s what has always been great about arena football. To just play games on TV, that doesn’t do fans any good. We wouldn’t do that, the Lions wouldn’t do that.
When things get back to normal and we can hear the roar of the crowd once again, it won’t be something that’s taken for granted.
“This is an unfortunate pandemic that’s hurting our country and hurting our livelihood,” said Gibson. “I think it educates us as a country and as people. I think it’s going to make a better place and make people more appreciative of what they have.”
The National Arena League is weighing all their options for starting dates. They even have plans for a possible start date in June.
If the league gets pushed back to that point, they might have to deal with competition like never before with the NBA, Major League Baseball and potentially the college and pro football seasons all going on at the same time.