The Impact of COVID-19 On Sports
The coronavirus, also known as Covid-19, first made itself apparent in 2019 striking the world with it’s terrible disease. With covid our world as we knew it was “shut down”, and along with it our sports.
Within the world of sports from March 6 to March 13, the effects of the coronavirus similarly moved from an ominous but isolated curiosity — a few games with no fans in the stands— to a full blown crisis.
Just within a 24 hour span of Wednesday evening to Thursday evening the NBA, the ATP Tour, Major League Soccer, the NHL, Major League Baseball, the WTA, the NCAA and the PGA Tour suspended, delayed or just canceled the remainder of their seasons.
When sports shut down the world had nowhere to turn to. With nothing to watch and no teams to support the world turned into more of a mess. Many people took it upon themselves to protest the closing of these sports, causing even more of a mess with no one to clean it up.
Many of these teams lost players and even had some retire from their chosen sport. The way that covid impacted our sports was and is definitely one for the books. It was very apparent how many people relied on these sports to give them guidance and security.
This shut down of sports had been the biggest in a very long time. Not even in the crisis of 9/11 had there been such a massive closing. Covid-19 had changed everything. Playing through world war ll and playing after 9/11 was the nation’s way of healing but playing through this invisible virus would not have solved the problem it would have added to it.
In the beginning of all of this many sports teams just played without fans in the stadium, which of course was very strange to watch and to see. When the national anthem played across Goldfarb Gymnasium, almost 1,100 seats echoed in emptiness and loneliness.
Not only was this cancellation a major setback on the professional league teams, it also highly affected highschooler’s chances at scholarships. With many of the highschool teams not playing their games it affected whether scouts were coming to see them. Along with this many of the college level players remain for an extra year just so they could gain back the year that they so unfortunately lost.
Junior year for highschoolers is the prime year to get recruited to play for colleges and to earn scholarships. Without this opportunity to be seen many kids lost their only way into college.
Going back to major league sports many teams lost sponsorships and money. With no fans in the stadiums paying for tickets to watch teams play there was a major setback in how much money these popular teams were bringing in.
Engagement time on teams began to go down as many people would argue “it’s just not as fun watching it as it is being there”. Many sports teams started up again in the late summer of 2020, taking almost a 5 month break. Which is not that long considering we have been in a pandemic for 3 years.
As sports began to return it was almost as if the world was slowly piecing itself back together. We had gotten back a part of us that we so helplessly needed to help bring everything back together.
The Olympics being a sports-crazed event continues to be delayed with it’s new date being for winter, February 2022, and summer being July of 2024. Slowly but surely we are beginning to piece our world back together, and sports was the perfect first piece to come back.