Whatever sporting event you were most looking forward to this spring, it is cancelled. Baseball, football, tennis, golf – for the time being, it’s all done.
There are certainly more critical issues when it comes to the consequences of the coronavirus, but, for perhaps the first time ever, we’re living in a sportsless society.
“We are really in uncertain and unique times,” says Daron Roberts founding director of the Center for Sports Leadership and Innovation at the University of Texas at Austin.
“Normally in times like this we’ve had some kind of way to vent our frustrations and that’s been through sports. But there has been such a complete stoppage,” Roberts says.
Cancelation of college basketball’s March Madness tournament, and talk of postponing or canceling the Tokyo Summer Olympics has people hoping we can all move past this and eventually return to normalcy.
He says that sports organizations have to make hard decisions as well as undertaking efforts to ease hardships on players and teams. Within the NCAA, seniors will get a fifth year of eligibility next year. But the financial future of college sports is still up in the air.
“Think about all the revenue that colleges and universities lose that would normally come from the NCAA,” Roberts says. “Because they don’t have it. Without March Madness, you’re losing a lot of revenue.”
Despite the lack of games, Mark Cuban owner of the Dallas Mavericks and others have stepped in to help workers affected by the cancelations.
“The Mavericks have set up a fund to help the hourly employees and the stadium employees and the arena employees. I think oftentimes we forget about the fact that for every sporting event, we have hour and seasonal employees who are living check to check,” Roberts says.
Written by Kristen Cabrera.