In the US, sports leagues have been halted or canceled altogether over the last few months due to the global coronavirus pandemic; now experts think sports can return safely this summer if social distancing guidelines are practiced.
Dr. Anthony Fauci is considered the nation’s top expert on infectious diseases and has been leading the fight against the coronavirus along with President Trump. Dr. Fauci told media sources that sports leagues could return this summer by holding events without fans, keeping players in hotel rooms, and by testing players regularly. Dr. Fauci believes there is enough interest from fans that sporting events could strive without fans in attendance.
The MLB has considered multiple options for opening up its 2020 season without fans in attendance. The most likely scenario is that the league could hold all season games in the state of Arizona. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said the state would be willing to host the MLB if conditions allow it.
College football announced earlier this week that they plan on holding their season as scheduled; however, that could change depending on the pandemic. The college football season is expected to begin on August 29th, 2020. The NFL has announced a virtual offseason schedule but plans on being ready for action to start on September 10th, 2020. The XFL has laid off all employees, filed for bankruptcy, and canceled its 2021 season.
The NBA 2020/21 season has been postponed since March but plans on returning to finish its season. Commissioner Adam Silver told the media that they can’t make a decision about when the league might return until May 1st.
The NCAA has canceled its post-season play and will not resume for the 2020 season. Eligibility has been extended for senior players who were affected by the shutdown.
Other sports such as NASCAR, NHL, and MLS have also been shut down since the pandemic reached the United States. Each league is also closely monitoring the pandemic and plans to resume once clearance has been granted.
The shutdown of sports across the USA has had a dramatic effect on sports betting, leaving sportsbooks with little to wager on. To combat the loss of revenue, sports leagues and sportsbooks have turned to other options, including virtual tournaments.
The NBA sponsored an NBA2k tournament, the MLB just announced a virtual playoff, and NASCAR has held virtual races to keep fans entertained during the pandemic.
Online sportsbooks offer odds on these events for 18+ sports betting patrons. While it is not quite the same as betting on the NBA or other games, it does alleviate some of the stress associated with no sports or real sports betting during the coronavirus pandemic.