Over the past several days, many sports fans have been on the uptick in their feelings regarding the opening of the country which in turn means the playing of sporting events. Even though we have discussed who might attend those games and even suggested that the events be entertaining at levels that are more superior than before, there is still very much a reality of no games at all. The President has been saying he wants the sports back in a big way. I even heard him say he was tired of watching MLB games from 14 years ago. Just like everything else since Trump has become the President, there is opposition to this too. Regardless of your beliefs about the political right and left, there is only 100% bipartisan support for thoughts, ideas, and agendas in today’s world.
Wednesday the Mayor of Los Angeles forewarned that large gatherings in his city might not return until 2021. He made it noticeably clear for these events to take place his expectation would need intervention from science. He is looking for a vaccine or pharmaceutical solution. He also stated that he is for the idea of the games being played without fans in the stands. This aligns with Dr. Fauci (lead Dr on Corona Virus Panel) views on the subject. He has stated that he can see games played without fans, quarantined teams in hotels, and sanitized stadiums. The NCAA commissioners met with Vice President Pence telling him there would be no games until the students were back on campus. Their thoughts are that sports are an extension of the collegiate life experience and need to be tied to academics. Meanwhile, the PGA released potential dates for the remaining schedule of events. The 1st tournament taking place June 18-21 without fans. The next event would use a to be determined status for fans and would presumably continue throughout the rest of the scheduled events until there was the ability for fans to attend. The NFL Draft is happening as scheduled on April 23rd even though it will be virtual meaning there will be no fans in attendance. There will be no walk-ups on stage from players as they will not be in attendance. It will be a televised event with I am sure plenty of commentaries and projected stats.
In life other than sports, government officials are really dictating the dos and don’ts of everyday life outside of our homes. For example, in some cities, it is now mandatory to wear a mask in public. Some employers are making their employees get screened daily and have their temperature taken prior to their shift (if they are still working). So, all these dichotomies pull in many directions but ultimately give an insight into what the future holds. Many people are saying that our lives and the world as we knew it changed, I believe this is a perfect example of this statement. These contrasts of ideas will ultimately shake out but when they do, what will be different?
It has become apparent that to hold large gatherings people either need to be vaccinated or be on the spot tested. It is becoming clear that the antibody tests (where a test can provide whether you have had Covid19 or if you are asymptomatic but possibly a carrier) need to be almost as convenient as a metal detector entering a stadium. If officials need to feel that you are safe and those also attending the vent need to feel safe, the only way is to detect the problems prior to entrance. Can you imagine the idea of passing a test to enter an event? Look a bit further. There will be no cash transactions or even debit card/credit card ones. The everyday transactions will now occur via apps on your phone like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or whatever bank apps you may have. Social distancing may not require 6ft at some point, but there might be limits to the size of crowds going forward. If there will be limited large gathering events, then you will see the broadcast on television incorporate interactivity based on the individual and their likes. For example, there might be a special broadcast filled with data and graphics package for the fantasy sports player, gambler, or one specific for a team involved. Ultimately, these kinds of new standards may also be requirements to go to a restaurant or other daily previously thought routine activities. It gives a new meaning to the power of a ticket taker or bouncer. The truth…we need to get used to the idea of watching events from our living room couch as live events will be fewer for a longer timeframe and maybe not until 2021. We will need to get used to seeing empty stadium seats (hopefully they can cover them up) on television. We will need to get used to not seeing crowd reactions to games won or lost in spectacular fashion. We will need to get used to hearing the games played differently. For example, the sound of the ball echoing in a stadium whereas before, the crowd noise muffled it completely. There was a game like this played in MLB. It happened in 2015 on April 29th. I have attached a YouTube link if you would like to view it.
Everything we knew about attending the games will not be the same, yet we can experience the games in a new light and one that could make us appreciate them even more. The sports fan needs to be resilient and adaptable. The attending a game was as it was, and now is the way it was.