It’s been a real struggle for almost every nation, entity, social group, and each individual ever since the pandemic was announced by the World Health Association on 13. March earlier this years. The coronavirus pandemic has sent shockwaves around the world, leading to a public health emergency that has killed thousands and plunged the global economy. It’s been more than a month since we last went to work, restaurant, and bar or met our friends outside. It’s been even harder for the sports fans out there – no sports events were held since the start of the pandemic restrictions were introduced. Almost every sports industry took the hit and it’s to be seen how they will recover, both in terms of sporting events and financially.
We will take a look at how the different sports were cancelled and which measures were taken.
NBA, NHL, NFL and MLB
NBA was one of the first major league being suspended after the Utah Jazz star Rudy Gobert was tested positive just minutes before the Jazz match against Oklahoma City Thunder. Later that day the American basketball governing body decided that all matches will be suspended until further notice. Even though there remains no clear return date for the NBA, there is reportedly a growing sense of optimism in the league that the 2019-20 season can be salvaged amid the coronavirus pandemic. The financial loss of the NBA and the other franchises which are going to suffer is yet to be determined.
The industry is trying to capitalize on the spike in media consumption by finding new ways to engage consumers. In the absence of live games, this means other content must be made available to fans. For example, sports broadcasters such as ESPN and Fox Sports are showing classic games, archived content, documentaries, e-sports and niche competitions in a bid to keep consumers watching. Individual leagues are doing the same. The NFL is making every game since 2009 available for streaming on its direct-to-consumer channel Game Pass, a strategy that led to a 500-fold increase in daily sign-ups for the service. In addition to all this, expected wages decrease or donations from players to organizations and fans are expected.
Football around the world
Maybe the major hit was took by the football fans who were enjoying a very interesting season, European cups were in their decisive part and in 3 months the UEFA European Tournament was about to be played. The Euros, were to be very different as 12 different cities across the continent in 10 different countries were set to host the most exciting European nation tournament on the continent. Now the fans must wait for another year, as the Euro 2020 will be played in the summer of 2021.
Of course there was idea to have matches played behind closed doors. Even the Italy Seria A tried that for 1-2 weeks before cancelling the leagues. On 12 March 2020, UEFA announced that the elite qualification round of the men and women’s under-17 and under-19 youth international tournaments had been postponed. The following day, UEFA postponed all fixtures for the following week in the Champions League and Europa League
There are different options and possible solutions how the season might be finished, cancelled or played in different manner so a positive outcome is reached for all concerned. One thing is for sure, the pandemia caused major shake-up to the world of football and its remains to be seen how this will impact the clubs, leagues, players and fans.
Olympics and other sports impacted
Of course, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games were also very much anticipated and the highlight in the athletics calendar in almost 4 years’ time. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Japanese government agreed to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympics for one year as the world grapples with the impact of coronavirus. The IOC also added that the Olympic flame will stay in Japan and the games will remain to be called as ”the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.” This was received with mixed feelings amongst all sportspersons and staff involved with the financial impact believed to be huge.
Tennis fans were also hit by the coronavirus impact. Roland Garros and Wimbledon amongst the major tournaments being cancelled. It’s to be announced in June whether the US Open will be held in September
All other major sports such as F1, volleyball, rugby, motor sports, golf and many more were hit and postponed all events to a certain extent that the humanity doesn’t recall such events ever since the World War II.
Sport having a break, but the impact will be for us to examine with years to come. While enjoying your break from sports, we will give you the Top 10 Most memorable moments series. Keep an eye on our Blog section in the coming days. First up – Top 10 Memorable Moments – UEFA Football European Championships.