By Peter Gleason

By a 46% to 36% margin, a poll released today says fans do not think the NFL should open the season on time, with 18% having no opinion.

The poll, which was conducted by Seton Hall University’s Stillman School of Business, has a margin of error is plus or minus 3.6%.

A wider margin — 77% to 20% — expressed support for delaying the start of football season in the event college and NFL players would not have sufficient time to get in shape as compared to years past.

The 2020 NFL season is scheduled to kick off on Thursday, Sept. 10, in Kansas City.

The NFL has delayed the start of its offseason workout program while it formulates a plan with the NFL Players Association on how to proceed during the coronavirus pandemic. Normally, April 6 would have signaled the start of the nine-week offseason workout program for the five NFL teams with new head coaches. For all other clubs, offseason team activities would have started on April 20.

College football has not set a date to return to practice.

Among those polled, 62% said they believe the sports world’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic played a role in government officials beginning to take the virus more seriously, with 30% indicating sports leagues halting their seasons did not influence government action, and 8% unsure.

The NBA suspended its season on March 11 after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for the virus, with the NHL following suit shortly thereafter. Major League Baseball has delayed the start of its season indefinitely.

Of those polled, 37% said they follow sports “closely,” 17% “very closely,” 26% “not closely,” and 20% “not at all.”

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