By Matt Salm, Investment Analyst
Sports, an industry worth nearly $500 billion globally, have long been a staple of American life. But among the countless disruptions to “business-as-usual” over the last few months was the near cessation of professional sports around the world.
As countries have beaten back the virus, this industry is starting to bounce back. Some of the biggest sports leagues in Europe have recently restarted. England’s Premier League, Spain’s La Liga, and Germany’s Bundesliga are among the top tier soccer leagues to have resumed matches this summer. It appears that once a country has the virus under control, professional sports leagues can safely resume – albeit without any fans, and perhaps with a few other modifications to meet social distancing requirements.
In the States, July is set to be a big month: the MLS is Back Tournament will kickoff on July 8th in Orlando; the NBA is scheduled to resume its season in on July 31st; and the MLB just reached a decision this week to have a 60 game season that starts in late July.
Note, though, that none of this represents business-as-usual. Upon arriving in Orlando, all MLS players and staff will be tested for COVID every other day. The NBA, which will also be resuming with all players and essential staff housed in Orlando, will only feature 22 of the league’s 30 teams. The MLB is opting for a different model: rather than keep everyone in Orlando, teams will only have regular season games in their respective regions of the country.
Countless other steps to limit the pandemic’s spread are being taken, but uncertainty remains. The US hasn’t been able to curtail COVID-19 as well as most European countries, so whether or not we’re able to resume professional sports safely remains to be seen. But millions of sports fans across the country – myself included – are certainly hoping to see our favorite athletes back in action soon.