This week, the coronavirus has started to affect many aspects of public life. Universities are closing for extended spring breaks and some workplaces are encouraging employees to work from home. Most recently, major sports leagues and associations have decided to postpone their seasons.
The trend started after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for the coronavirus, and the NBA suspended its season. Since then, the NCAA has decided to hold its March Madness basketball tournament without fans in attendance and the MLB has rescheduled some of its early-season games.
Victor Matheson, professor of economics at College of the Holy Cross, says that while these decisions were made to protect public health, they will have a significant effect on the economy.
“It’s not like people are going to be going out to restaurants or concerts instead of going to those NBA games,” Matheson says. “This is true loss for the economy and true loss for the leagues.”
Matheson says it’s an even bigger loss for event staff. Many of them earn minimum wage and often don’t receive paid sick leave.
Another major concern is how the leagues will fare in the long term. While some can survive off revenue from televised games, other leagues like Major League Soccer rely on live audiences to stay in business.
Written by Samantha Carrizal.