Buckle Up, Sports Fans: President Trump Expects Fans in Stadiums Around August?
Feb 16, 2020; Daytona Beach, Florida, USA; President Donald Trump the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports
In a conference call on Saturday with the commissioners of various sports leagues, President Donald Trump said he expects fans to be back in stadiums and arenas no earlier than August or September.
If that timeline holds true, the only sports league that will not be affected at all by the COVID-19 pandemic would be the NFL, which could miraculously begin its season on time, although their offseason will continue in the unorthodox fashion that it has been functioning at, including a virtual draft in the coming weeks.
The scenarios are different, however, for the remaining sports leagues, especially those that halted operations midseason (the NHL, NBA, and XFL) or before their season got underway (MLB).
Could all major sports and their respective seasons coincide with one another? For anybody who is fans of several sports, that would be amazing. However, logistically, it may not be quite possible.
First, there are teams that share the same stadium or arena. Then, there’s the television rights for leagues. Further, the weather could play a factor in the calendar for MLB and other leagues.
Furthermore, how will other aspects play out? In baseball, Mookie Betts could very well never step into the batter’s box in a Dodgers uniform. Chris Sale and Luis Severino could potentially not miss a game after Tommy John surgery. A.J. Hinch and Jeff Luhnow could very well be back with a MLB team, missing not one game during their punishments stemming from the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing controversy and subsequent punishments handed down by commissioner Rob Manfred.
Will the NBA and NHL restart operations and go right into playoff action? If so, there won’t be any teams that are able to sneak in at the last minute; this would not turn out well with fringe teams who just miss out on the postseason.
At the very least, although not an easy pill to swallow, there is a silver lining with a preliminarily-penciled-in end in sight for our current life without sports.
For now, it looks like sports fans will have to continue watching previously-played games and streaming the nostalgic sports movies to fill the void of actual live sports.
Time will tell how this all unfolds. This pandemic could very well still be in full swing come the end of summer and this whole idea will have to be recalculated.