Professional Sports Cautiously Plan Their Return
By Sam Keegan
For almost three months now, American sports leagues have been shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This is devastating to the millions of passionate fans around the country who are desperate to see their teams return. Apart from a couple of UFC matches and soccer games in Europe, all other sports are on hold. With each passing day, leagues, players, executives, and arena and network employees remain without work and are beginning to lose pay. Although there is a pandemic, the return of sports is imminent. The question is: How can they return safely?
As sports begin to restart or begin their seasons, an obvious safety measure is to play without fans in attendance. Crowding anywhere from 20 to 40 thousand people into an arena is impossible with the current social distancing guidelines. Spectators who travel from their homes to games can contract the virus and increase its spread.
Not only can traveling fans spread the coronavirus, the athletes themselves, as well as all other personnel, can spread it too. By constantly going to other states to compete, they can spread the virus just as easily as fans can. Each league should limit games to as few places as possible, just as the NBA plans to do when they finish off their season in Orlando, Florida.
The 22 teams that make the trip will be playing all their games in ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex. They will always be kept within the facilities and will be temperature checked daily. All players will have to test negative for Covid to be cleared to play.
Other leagues should follow the example set by the NBA to maintain complete control over all aspects of their sports. By keeping everyone who would be involved together during the season, the spread of coronavirus will be minimal. This year's NBA season should be studied by everyone in the sports community so they can learn how to safely compete during these unfortunate times, since as America will continue to reopen, sports will too.