COVID-19 has taken a huge hit on the sports world we once knew. All professional sports leagues have been shut down amidst the virus. Many players are losing parts of their salary during this time because the leagues aren’t bringing in any money. Will sports come back to normal? Will there be fans in the stands? Will teams even be able to practice together? All questions sports fans are dying to hear the answer to. For many people, sports provide excitement and something to look forward to whether that’s playing or watching on TV. It’s no secret that the corona virus has made an irreversible impact on our world, and since there isn’t a clear end to its damages in sight yet, the sports industry is being forced to make decisions we’ve never seen before.
With the COVID-19 outbreak there are currently changes being seen in the sports industry for the first time. For example, as of Tues. April 28, 2020, the state of Maryland officially cancelled all high school spring sport seasons, leaving our Dulaney seniors with yet another aspect of high school unfinished. Additionally, the yearly National Football League (NFL) draft was hosted entirely online from April 23,2020 to April 25, 2020. All players and coaches awaited their new teammates from the comfort of their own homes. Boston and New York University are the first colleges to announce they will not have students returning in the fall, meaning their seasons won’t be returning either.
A huge part of what makes sports what they are is the fans, but as the pandemic continues without an end in sight, fans may not be prohibited at games for months to come. As of April 22, 2020, the Southeastern Conference (SEC) released a statement saying they may not allow fans to watch games from their stands for as long as 18 months. Not being able to go to games is going to have major financial impacts on the industry, because that’s a hefty part of how teams make a profit.
As of right now, things still remain up in the air. Teams could suffer from the side effects of this pandemic for years to come. On the brighter side of things, it is certain that when this pandemic has ceased once and for all—however long from now that may be—teams will play again. When sports are able to return back to the way we know them, it is likely that fans will be lining up outside stadiums and tailgating in parking lots just as they would before.