Don Garber - MLS Commissioner - at podium

Wonder what Major League Soccer broadcasts might look like when the league returns play? NASCAR may have provided a glimpse.

With the possibility that a return to play will be without fans in the stands — as was the case with the German Bundesliga over the weekend — MLS Commissioner Don Garber cited some of what NASCAR displayed in a Darlington Raceway broadcast that drew over 6 million viewers as what could be seen when MLS kicks off again.

"I’ve seen images of virtual fans and digital fans that have been done in watch parties," Garber said in an interview during the Leaders Direct conference Thursday morning. "I thought NASCAR did a great job with a Zoom watch party. I think you’ll expect that when we get back to play, we’ll do similar things. I don’t think you can artificially replicate the environment in a stadium when you’re playing without fans. I think we’ve got to focus in on the game on the field. … When we do get back, you’ll see some creative and, not unprecedented but innovative, technologies in those broadcasts without fans.”

Garber has previously stated “everything’s on the table,” when it comes to the format competition and the televised look of the games.

The MLS season has been suspended since March 12 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, players were cleared to begin voluntary individual workouts at outdoor team training fields on May 6, in accordance with detailed health and safety protocols and in line with local public health official or government policies.