President Donald Trump held a meeting yesterday with many sports league officials, including Vince McMahon, with an update on when he hopes arenas and stadiums will be open again.
WWE has been holding shows in front of no audience at its Performance Center facility since the March 13 episode of Friday Night SmackDown, and more recently has been taping them in advance instead of holding them live, all due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio discussed what Trump said in the meeting, where he gave his timetable on when he hopes sporting events can return. Meltzer said:
“[Trump] met with Dana White and Vince McMahon earlier today (Saturday) and all the sports league heads and he basically said that he wants, and this means nothing, that he’s hoping he wants everyone back going to the arenas by August, so that’s his timetable. It means nothing, but one of the things he was talking about was doing incentives to get people to buy tickets to events. So he has realised that it may be difficult both economically for people who don’t have jobs, but also for the fact that people might be scared or not really want to go to arenas with 5000 people or stadiums with 50,000 people, and he’s looking at all kinds of like incentives and tax breaks and things like that to encourage people, once this is over with, to go out and ‘support my favourite billionaires’ companies’, so that’s what he was talking about to them today.
“The fact that he’s targeting August tells me that May doesn’t look good at all. But he was adamant about the NFL season starting on time, which means nothing to me because that far in advance we don’t know anything. But the fact that he’s talking about hoping the NFL season starts on time makes me think that this thing is going a lot longer than we probably would have thought which means it’s gonna be very interesting what happens to everybody’s television going forward. Because in theory these Georgia shutdown, Florida shutdown, most states are shut down. They shouldn’t be able to tape. There are, in fact, people working on taping anyway – Dana White and Vince McMahon. We’ll see what happens this week. WWE’s got till Friday to come up with a plan because Monday and Wednesday are taken care of.
“That was the basic gist of everything, was he’s concerned for these sports leagues – we need these sports leagues back going and it’s gonna be – the fact that he said August makes me think that things, well it sounds bad for baseball doesn’t it. The point of it is that if he’d said June, I’d have said June at the earliest, but when he says August, that means August at the earliest, and probably longer.
“He’s always gonna err on the side of being optimistic, that’s what he’s been all along. Remember like a couple of weeks ago where it was just the flu and we were gonna have no problems and we’ve licked it and it’s gone, and everything like that. So when he says August, to me that means August is the earliest thing, the most optimistic date, which is saying something because August is a long time.”
If you use the above quote please credit Wrestling Observer Radio with a H/T to WrestleTalk.com for the transcription