When are Sports Coming Back After the Pandemic?
By Space Coast Daily // May 17, 2020
The COVID-19 Pandemic has created significant uncertainty in the sports world. Most sports events have either been canceled or postponed to future dates. Unfortunately, even sports officials aren’t sure when things will get back to normal in the gaming scene.
Leagues such as the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball are on hold indefinitely.
Even though in sports such as tennis, athletes are trying to play games with no fans present, it’s evident that sports and all major types of sports will not be the same until 2021.
Public health experts have issued stern warnings against large gatherings and big crowds.
Gatherings of sports fans in stadiums to watch gaming events is probably going to be the last sporting tradition to get back to normal due to social distancing etiquette.
Presently, the only leagues whose dates are the same as before COVID-19 are the US open and the NFL. This could be because their due dates are still some time off with the US Open schedule to start on 24 August and the NFL on 10 September.
The Olympic Games set for the summer are postponed until 23 July 2021.
Here are more updates on other significant sporting events:
■ Football: There is still a chance that the 2020 season expected to start on 10 September will go on as scheduled
■ Basketball: The sport hit a hard rock when the season suffered suspension with three-quarters of the games played mid-season. There isn’t any communication from the NBA as to when the season will resume.
■ Baseball: There isn’t any date set for the return of Major League Baseball this year. However, there were plans for the league to start its season in May.
■ International Soccer: Euro 2020 is postponed to 2021, while the Women’s event will happen in 2022. Qualifying matches for the World Cup have no set date while the World Cup event is in 2022
■ Hockey: Season suspended after teams managed to play 70 games from the regular 82 game season.
■ Tennis: The sport received a significant blow after the cancellation of Wimbledon. The French Open is not due until 20 September 2020.
■ Cycling: The Tour de France is due on 29 August 2020
Even though there’s no argument that sports will be back after the pandemic, many other questions arise from the length of the postponement of sporting events.
Are the fans going to be back watching the games they once loved? Sports Psychologists such as Daniel Wann insist that only the superfans will remain and that the more casual fans could have already moved on to other interests.
The pandemic will change how people plan to attend sporting events. Even if there’ll be a vaccine readily available to everyone, most people are already psychologically wired to avoid tightly packed spaces. Understandably, most sports will wrangle for the attention of viewers and fans.
Sporting officials could scramble to get their sports on the road, and fans wouldn’t know which events to attend. On the other hand, could sports fans be too busy, post-Covid?
Will they devote their attention to rebuilding their lives rather than attend sporting events? What is evident, though, is that by the time sports come back, fans will have evolved in different ways.
For now, athletes and fans have to be satisfied with watching reruns and preserving their health by adhering to COVID-19 regulations. As the world grapples with the effects of the pandemic on economies and different structures, it is apparent that sports will return.
But, with the return of sports, will fans still be as loyal as they were in the past?
It is, therefore, safe to say that when sports do return, fans will dictate the future and success of sporting events.
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