During the COVID-19 pandemic, many sports fans were disappointed by the absence of games and competitions. Even the top sports networks were reduced to playing reruns of past games.
Sports fans were kept away from their favorite pastime for valid health reasons. But they were very happy when live sports began again in the summer of 2020.
Many sports have been able to keep operating due to their careful treatment of the coronavirus pandemic.
For example, the NBA formed a “bubble” and played all of its games in a central location in Florida. This had the effect of causing no COVID transmission at all between members of the NBA.
Other sports were not as lucky. The NFL has had serious COVID-related problems due to its lack of social distancing and mask-wearing. Many games have had to be postponed due to the illness or preventative quarantine of important players.
Deven Patel, a sports expert, explains which sports have been able to continue during COVID and how fans can get involved with their favorite teams again.
Encouraging Sports During The Pandemics
Here’s how professional sport events took place during the COVID-19 pandemic:
1. Major League Baseball
The MLB season was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic. Rather than starting in March as usual, the season did not begin until July. The league was able to get in 60 games before the playoffs began.
While COVID infections and quarantines did have an effect on the players and the schedule, the teams were able to play and practice safely for the most part.
Fans were allowed in some stadiums, but not all. Some of the teams that did allow fans were the Miami Marlins, Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, and St. Louis Cardinals.
Fans were also allowed at the NLCS and ALCS playoffs and the World Series.
2. Major League Soccer
While MLS teams were affected by COVID as well, the season was able to start on August 12.
Fans were allowed in Dallas, Nashville, Kansas City, and Orlando, among other cities.
3. The NBA
Thanks to its careful observation of COVID regulations and regular testing, the NBA was able to continue its season with no interruptions.
A few players were punished for violating COVID guidelines, but generally, the season went as planned after a late starting date.
Fans were not allowed to attend any NBA games.
4. The NFL
The NFL has experienced perhaps the most media attention due to the illnesses and positive tests of its players and coaches.
Many players were sidelined because of the pandemic, and at one point, the Broncos had to play at a disadvantage because it had no starting or backup quarterbacks to put on the field.
The NFL did allow fans at most of its games, allowing a fraction of their normal capacity in the stadium.
NFL fans were glad to be allowed to see their favorite teams play in person this year.
5. The NHL
The NHL returned to play a shortened season on August 1st with the Stanley Cup Qualifiers.
The NHL did experience some COVID-related problems, but not as many as other leagues.
Fans were not allowed to be in the arenas, and there is potential that they will not be allowed in the 2021 season either.
6. College Football
The impact of COVID on college football has perhaps been the most widespread of any popular sport.
Many teams and conferences had to cancel or postpone games, and now there is a possibility that the conferences will have to cancel or delay their playoffs in the winter of 2020-21.
The conferences that are not playing the 2020 season are the Mountain West, Mid-American, and PAC-12, as well as the Ivy League.
Fans have been allowed at most college stadiums with reduced capacity.
The coronavirus pandemic’s effect on sports has been severe. Teams’ revenue has been slashed since there are few fans in the stands.
Regardless, teams are surviving this difficult time due to creativity and determination.
Sports are important in American public life. Sports give us a reason to get together and cheer for a common goal.
The rivalries inherent in team sports make it fun to see teams compete against each other, especially in college and professional sports.
When these games are disrupted, the sporting world has a difficult time making up for them.
Overall, sports teams should make their teams’ and fans’ safety their number one priority, understanding that their financial situation may suffer due to the lack of fans in the stands.
COVID-19 lockdowns were necessary, but sports fans are very glad that their favorite games are being played again.
The sports leagues need to continue to be careful with their COVID-19 prevention techniques if they want the sporting world to return to its full glory.