In a time where large gatherings are banned, people must maintain a six-foot social distance, and people are staying indoors, the sports industry has come to a standstill.
In March, the NBA was one of the first to cancel its season, much to the dismay of basketball fans. Many other leagues canceled their seasons soon after. This was a major loss for sports fans who are now stuck at home and would normally turn the TV on to see their favorite team. The fans are left with nothing to watch. To counter this issue, ESPN has resorted to showing replays of old games, both regular season games and major events like Super Bowl LIV.
ESPN has also reprised its role as ESPN 8 “The Ocho,” and shows the most obscure sports on the planet such as marble racing, lawn mower derbies, and evendDodgeball. And, with the 2020 Kentucky Derby postponed until September, a digital race featuring all winners of the Triple Crown was shown in its place.
The 2020 NFL Draft was fully digital this year, so the sports industry is doing its best to keep everyone entertained and prepare for next season. As for the sports industry moving forward, the future is uncertain. While many teams have been talking about games with no fans, none of these plans have been made official. MLB is talking about splitting the league into three sections and doing spring training in the team’s home stadium, but this is raising concerns as well. NASCAR is also planning on resuming fan-less races. So while the immediate future is unknown, there will no doubt be sports again.