Ohio should be the NFL’s bubble for the 2020 season

NFL player Odell Beckham Jr. #13 of the Cleveland Browns (Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images)
NFL player Odell Beckham Jr. #13 of the Cleveland Browns (Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images) /
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MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images) /

Practice locations

The next obstacle will be practicing. The NBA has the luxury of being able to set up a court in any area that has enough space, but that isn’t the case for the NFL. Luckily, there are plenty of locations in the Columbus area that would make this possible.

To make it work, the NFL would need about eight practice facilities for teams to use. With this, they can create a schedule that would give each team a three-hour block every day to practice with an hour between teams reporting to allow for the facilities to be cleaned. The windows could be planned-out as 7 a.m.-10 a.m., 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 3 p.m.-6 p.m. and 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Sure, this isn’t ideal, but it would work and that’s the key right now.

Of the eight locations available in Columbus, five are outdoors with turf or grass. They include Ohio Stadium, MAPFRE Stadium, Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, Huntington Park, and Bill Davis Stadium. Ohio Stadium would be the most difficult as Ohio State’s football team uses it as well. MAPFRE Stadium houses the Columbus Crew and Huntington Park the Columbus Clippers while Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium and Bill Davis Stadium are both used for Ohio State Athletics as well.

The final three locations would be indoor and could either be used for walk-thru practices or be transitioned into an Arena Football League style field for somewhat full practices. Those would include Nationwide Arena, St. John Arena and the Schottenstein Center. Teams would also have the ability to use conference rooms in the hotels or buildings on campus should that be a housing option for walk-thru practices and meetings, while also using virtual meetings throughout the week.

Again, these might not be the ideal locations for practices and the schedules are much different from a normal season, but it might be what it takes to get the 2020 season played. There, of course, would be other logistics to work, such as players wearing or bringing all gear to the fields, eliminating the need for locker rooms, and how to decide who gets the outdoor fields on what day. Not to mention coordinating everything with Ohio State, given how much would rely on their willingness to offer facilities for use.