With the Covid pandemic still running riot through US, but Major League Baseball, NHL and NBA, and cricket all returning, is it just too early for American sports to return to normal?
Most sports enthusiasts have relished the prospect of sports returning, but the decision has also been met with a sense of anxiety. There are still 1,000 deaths being reported daily in America, with over 4.7 million infections – a number which is higher than anywhere else in the world, so it is no wonder that the reopening of the sports sector has been met with concern.
When the MLS attempted to return, the second game had to be postponed after five players tested positive for the virus and while this has affected many industries, there has been a surge of new interest at BetRiver in Colorado and for other venues that are revolutionizing how fans can get involved in the potential downtime.
Severely affected countries, including Italy, Spain and the UK have all restarted their leagues, without crowds, but there is one big difference in these countries – the virus is currently under control. It is not under control in the US, so should the reopening of sports even be considered as a priority?
Both the Milwaukee Bucks and Sacramento Kings had to close their training facilities due to coronavirus testing results (of which there has been no further details) and the same applies to Brooklyn Nets, LA Clippers, Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets. The virus is still running rife through the US, and with players and staff safety at risk, it seems that attempting to resurrect the sporting environment at this stage, may just be wishful thinking.
As a contrast, women’s sports seem to be doing well during the pandemic. The NWSL, who returned first in the US initially had some issues with a player testing positive for Covid-19 after being in a bar, but overall was deemed a success and ended up being the highest rated television rating in its history.
The caution is real though and while other countries have flattened the curve, the US is one of the few countries who haven’t managed to do this, making it possibly more problematic to a resurgence than it was at the start. This may cause the sports industry to be closed as quickly as it has started up, which is potentially more devastating for sports enthusiasts.
For now, we can only hope that everything works out for our beloved industry and we can relax and enjoy tournaments such as CPLT20 on the 18th August until late September. Hopefully we can treat these sporting events with caution, and keep everyone’s safety in our thoughts and actions.