Coronavirus

Coronavirus Takes Hold of the World, how it’s impacting the sports industry

  • Coronavirus
  • March Madness
  • NBA
  • NCAA
  • NFl Draft
By Kyle Smith March 11, 2020 1 Comment
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2020 has left an impact on the world that will not soon be forgotten, and Coronavirus is just taking its hold.

Early in the year, we lost the legendary Kobe Bryant. The NBA and all sports fans dedicated their day, month, or year to living like Kobe and pursuing that Mamba Mentality. Today, people all over the globe are in panic mode as the Coronavirus (Covid-19) spreads rapidly and takes hold with a death rate of around 4%. As of March 10th, the World Health Organization has deemed Covid-19 a pandemic, something that has not happened since the Swine Flu breakout of 2009. Hundreds of conferences, meetings, and festivals are being postponed or canceled entirely.

Italy has gone into lock down, shutting down tourist sights, all sporting events, and any public gatherings. In the United States, schools and universities are moving to online classes or canceling the semester altogether. President Trump also just announced a new travel ban from Europe to the United States effective for the next 30 days. Its beginning to affect every day lives and has begun to make its impact in the sporting world. 

Covid-19 impacting March Madness

In what was thought as the biggest news of the day, the NCAA decided that the March Madness tournament games, both men’s and women’s, will be played, but there will be no fans filling the stadiums. Only essential team staff and limited family members will be allowed. Thousands of seats will be completely empty. No student section will be there to boo and heckle to referees when they make a horrendous call.

No one to cheer on the underdog and help keep their momentum. No Sister Jean to cheer on her cinderella Loyola-Chicago. Some family members won’t be able to watch as their sibling, grandchild, niece, or nephew, plays in the tournament for the first time. Seniors will walk off the court for the last time without thunderous applause. It will truly be an eerie sight to behold.

Soccer and The Master’s too?

Covid-19 is going to dictate the next few months. Europe has been smacked with the virus and it’s showing. The UEFA Champions League has started playing games with no crowds and even postponed a few matches. In the States, the PGA is also watching the coronavirus carefully.

There is a solid chance that the Masters follows suit with no fans allowed. Can you imagine not having a crowd watch Tiger Woods win the green jacket last year? Augusta is one of the most recognizable sights in sports, but without a crowd, it loses its illustriousness. There’s even a chance that the event could be cancelled, leaving the golf season, and all fans’ hearts, with an unfillable hole.

Covid-19 impact the NFL Draft

At the end of April is one of the largest gatherings in the sporting world as the NFL takes over Las Vegas for the 2020 Draft. While there have been no announcements regarding the draft, speculation is beginning to rise that it too could be held behind closed doors. Last year, the NFL took Nashville by storm and saw the largest crowd ever for a draft with over 600,000 fans.

Vegas could easily rival that number, but may not have the chance to do so. There’s a chance Joe Burrow won’t be able to get on a boat and travel across the Bellagio fountain when his name is called number one. As what is expected to be a wild draft, fans may be left to watch at home as teams trade frantically to grab their future quarterback or snag a wide receiver in this historic class. Vegas has big plans to fill the even bigger shoes left by Nashville, but it could all be for nought.

NBA worst impact so far

Finally, after one of the more dramatic days in newsrooms in quite some time, the NBA announced that they will suspend their season indefinitely, effective Wednesday night. This following the postponement of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Utah Jazz game. Fans were asked to leave the stadium before tip-off after to Rudy Gobert tested positive for Coronavirus. There’s no telling how long Gobert has had the virus or how many people he has come in contact with and potentially spread the virus to. The NBA had no choice but to suspend their season for all players’ and fans’ safety.

All major sports leagues will be looking to the NBA as an example. There is a future where the MLB doesn’t start their season on time, the NHL suspends their season, the PGA postpones events like The Masters, and the NFL draft is done behind closed doors. The NBA is only the beginning to what has been a truly crazy 24 hours.

The sports world and the globe as a whole will continue to see the impact of the disease in the months that follow. As the infection levels of Covid-19 will do nothing but rise in the coming weeks, we can only hope that the change in season will help diminish the spread of the virus. And remember, stay home if you’re sick and wash your hands.

 

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1 Comments

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Carolyn

March 12, 2020

Very good article, Kyle!

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