Fifty days have passed since the last live sporting event was held in the United States.
That statement held true for almost the entire world until earlier this week when the Korean Baseball Organization resumed its season – with games broadcasted live by ESPN in the early hours of the morning.
NASCAR and UFC are on the cusp of holding events later this month without fans and while they are sizeable steps in the right direction, there is still a lot to consider as sports start up again.
The NBA and NHL are still searching for ways to hold playoffs and crown a champion while MLB is still working to schedule a new opening day. Should any of those leagues hold competitions this summer, fans would likely be unable to attend.
COVID-19 has acted as an unstoppable force to the sports world as the logistical questions it poses to league executives make it harder and harder to imagine a normal season of any sport in 2020. However, the NFL might be the only immovable object in the sports world as they will announce the 2020 schedule Thursday. I have no idea what the NFL plans to release or what any of the contingency plans might be, but there better be a lot of them.
Whether or not fans will be in the stadiums should be the least of anyone’s concerns right now but as Kansas City Chiefs fans look forward to honoring the Super Bowl win, it is hard to think Arrowhead may be empty or severely reduced in capacity in such an important season.
College football has the steepest hill to climb as the NCAA’s member schools are located in every state and will likely be under different regulations.
One example is the PAC-12 conference where a third of the league is located in California.
If the health regulations in the state, prevent those schools from traveling or a school from another state traveling to them then there is a real problem. If two teams in different states play each other and players on each team test positive for COVID-19, then what happens?
The ACC is spread across ten states including Florida and will likely have big questions to answer as the season draws closer.
Professional leagues will have an easier time addressing the requirements they need to meet in order to resume play because they control a lot more than the NCAA. Each of the hundreds of member schools in the NCAA will have to make their own decisions for the safety of their athletes, students and campuses.
Jason Brown is the Sports Editor of the Leavenworth Times. Contact him at email@example.com