As the sports world waits impatiently for COVID-19 to ease, the thought running through everyone’s mind is not when sports will return, but how it will actually operate when it does.
No sport has an exact timetable on when they’ll start their seasons or continue them, but some are showing signs of revitalization.
Starting May 8, the NBA may allow teams in states with relaxed stay-at-home orders to re-open training facilities for players to practice and receive treatment.
There’s no guarantee any sport will make a full come back, but knowing that some are starting to take the preliminary steps to that end goal finally gives fans something to look forward to.
What they won’t be able to look forward to is watching it in person with 40,000 people huddled up next to each other. If anyone is realistically looking at a return for sports, fans will have to be excluded.
“Safety, for the players and for the fans, trumps everything, If you can’t guarantee safety, then unfortunately you’re going to have to bite the bullet and say, ‘We may have to go without this sport for this season,’” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the leading public health expert for President Trump's coronavirus task force.
The NBA has become a primary focus because their season was cut right before they were supposed to start playoffs. They are still exhausting every idea to try and guarantee the safety of its players while still finishing the year out.
Reportedly Disney chairman Bob Iger was on a video conference call with commissioner Adam Silver and the NBA, with officials wanting to utilize Disney World as a site for the continuation of its season.
The 255 acres of the Disney sports complex gives the ability to create an isolated bubble from the public. With hotels sitting idle, it all seems like a perfect fit.
The courts are even set up for broadcasting, and no fans present creates an opportunity for the viewer to actually hear what the players are saying on the court.
Sure, we’ll all miss the sound of screaming fans in the background heckling the players and trying to throw them off as much as they can, but it's all worth losing just for a chance to have some sort of sports entertainment.
While all this sounds great, these are all just possibilities.
In a country struggling for testing, another question rises. How are we able to test every athlete, every day, when people with the actual virus are having trouble getting tested?
There are a lot of lingering questions with no answers, but when sports does make an eventual comeback, there will be conflict every step of the way.