The effect covid-19 is having on sports

Dylan Grant / April 8, 2020

Madison Square Garden, which is home to the New York Rangers(NHL), New York Knicks(NBA), St John’s Red Storm(NCAA). The arena holds 18,006 for the NHL and 19,812 for (NBA, NCAA)
(Dylan Grant /BCITNews)

In the span of 24 hours the sports world changed like we have never seen before. Three major sports leagues whose seasons were in progress in North America were suspended indefinitely including: National Basketball Association, (NBA), the National Hockey League (NHL), and Major League Baseball (MLB). The National Football League (NFL) was currently in the midst of their off-season, meaning there was no immediate impact to their operations aside from changing their draft logistics. All this marks this marks the first time that these four major sports aren’t being played together. Covid-19 has had unprecedented impacts on the sporting landscape, reaching far beyond the four major sports and impacting both the professional and amateur sporting world. Many amateur athletes who are in their senior year or finished playing junior level have had their season end before they were able to finish it.

Below is a timeline that shows how fast the sports world changed in a matter of a couple weeks.

Expanding our focus beyond just the players Covid-19 has also affected the employment status of the coaches, trainers, reporters, announcers, and event staff without jobs, among others.

“Its massive business on so many levels weather your talking about the salaries of the players, ownership and the revenue generated by home games, television and radio. And all the media impacts as well and then of course you for workers and staffers that rely on game nights to make a living.” – Jeff Paterson TSN1040 Vancouver Canucks reporter.

Fortunately for top level professional athletes they are still collecting salary, however the minor leaguers, arena workers, and other essential staff are not. NBA All-Star Kevin Love led the way for the NBA players to donate to the arena staff starting off with $100,000 to the Cleveland Cavaliers staff. Since Love’s donation several other prominent NBA players have stepped up with similar contributions. NHL player Sergei Bobrovsky led the charge for the NHL players followed by others who have pitched in to help pay the arena employees anywhere from $100,000-$500,000.

Meanwhile MLB Texas Rangers outfielder Shin-soo Choo announced he is donating $1,000 to every Minor League Baseball player in the Texas Rangers organization.

Popular hockey podcast “Spittin Chiclets” has also set up a player relief fund for those in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL), a tier below the American Hockey League (AHL) as players in the ECHL make little to no money.

As announcements continue to be made regarding events that have been postponed and cities entering lockdowns, we are faced with greater uncertainty about when sports could resume, in any capacity. The exact timeline, locations, and selective attendance are just some of the logistical questions that must be answered prior to such a return.

For example, the NBA has held discussions with regards to the viability of playing out their season in a single location, with Las Vegas seemingly the front-runner. Vegas offers the necessary facilities to host the games themselves as well as accommodations for team staff and players, aided by the fact the NBA rosters only have 12-15 players.

We are in unprecedented times when it comes to sports in our world as something like this has never impacted the sports world in such a widespread fashion.

Even if we get sports back this year, what will the stadiums feel, look, and sound like? This is something Jeff Paterson talks about in my interview with him below.

You can listen to the interview with Jeff Paterson below.