The Pro Football Hall of Fame will move its enshrinement ceremony to 2021 and cancel its annual preseason game because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to multiple reports Thursday morning.
An official announcement from the Hall of Fame was expected later in the day. The game will be the first cancellation of an event on the NFL calendar due to the health emergency.
The Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys were set to play in the preseason game on Aug. 6 in Canton, Ohio, with the induction ceremonies two days later. They are expected to meet in the game in 2021.
When tickets went on sale in March, the 20,000 available seats sold out in just 22 minutes, only 36 hours after the sports world came to a halt amid the pandemic.
The Steelers and Cowboys were scheduled to open training camp a week earlier than other NFL teams because of their appearance in the first preseason game but likely now will report at the same time, barring any other cancellations or postponements.
The Hall of Fame’s postponement of the induction follows similar moves made by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, both of which moved their 2020 festivities to next year.
The 20-member football Class of 2020 includes safety Steve Atwater, wide receiver Isaac Bruce, guard Steve Hutchinson, running back Edgerrin James, safety Troy Polamalu and two head coaches — Bill Cowher and Jimmy Johnson — along with three elected as contributors (Steve Sabol, Paul Tagliabue and George Young). Ten members of the league’s centennial class were previously announced.