The National Basketball Association has suspended the season until further notice. Major League Soccer is suspending the season for 30 days. The National Hockey League is reportedly considering a similar step. Major League Baseball is contemplating whether it should allow fans, and which games would run afoul of local emergency rules barring large gatherings. So far, the PGA tour is continuing.
As of this writing, the NCAA mens’ and womens’ basketball tournaments are still scheduled to be played, without fans in the arena. (It will be like the 1989 “Measles Tournament,” where the North Atlantic Conference championship tournament was played with no fans.) Various regional conference championships have been canceled today. If bumping into sweaty opponents represents an unacceptable risk for the NBA, one wonders how long the NCAA will deem it an acceptable risk for collegiate players.
The last comparable disruption to the sports world came after 9/11, when MLB postponed games through September 16, the NFL skipped a week, MLS canceled games, and NASCAR postponed a race. This disruption could run considerably longer.
If you have to sacrifice something for the good of your country, “spent a week on your couch not going out and watching television or reading” sounds pretty manageable. But it’s a shame we couldn’t keep our sports games going during this pandemic. (Face it, lots of college basketball fans were already “calling in sick” the Thursday and Friday of the NCAA tournament.)
At least we still have cable, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, the Internet, etc. Movies that were supposed to be released in coming weeks might want to jump straight to streaming services.