U.S. Sports Should Resume Quickly, But Safely


Michael Tipton on Flickr

The NBA was going strong before the virus surfaced but then ended abruptly. Will NBA commissioner Adam Silver and company find a way to resume play for this year’s NBA playoffs? Creative Commons image: Michael Tipton on Flickr.

Jake Lieberman, Staff Writer

It is, quite frankly, frustrating that major events cannot take place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For something, anything, to return is needed soon. People lack entertainment and things to talk about, so sports resuming soon would be excellent.

Could sports somehow present a plan to create safe entertainment and a slight return to normalcy while still obeying the guidelines from the CDC? It will be difficult, but it can happen. First of all, it is necessary to have nearly empty or completely empty stadiums, according to NBC Sports. This adjustment is important for the time being because sports attract tremendous amounts of people, which increases the chance of the virus spreading. The CDC recommends that staying farther than six feet apart is safe. Although media and important people could still attend games to get better coverage, they would need to spread out, stay solo or be in groups of just a few people. The CDC has prohibited events of more than 250 people. Thus, unfortunately, the bottom line is that stadiums aren’t going to be at full capacity for an unknown time, according to ESPN.

Where will the large groups of people needed for sports, such as players, coaches and staff, stay during their season? One idea is to utilize hotels. First of all, the hotels will be almost empty without other guests, so space shouldn’t be a problem. Secondly, this will provide hotels with much-needed income.  Hotels have lost substantial amounts of money due to the virus, according to CNBC. Everyone involved in the game will need to be closely monitored once they are back at the hotel. Once they step foot in the hotel area, they would need to go straight to their room to eliminate interactions. Individuals must not leave or explore beyond the hotel; this measure will contribute to containing the virus. Staying in a closed area will likely reduce the spread of the virus because fewer people will be interacting, and it will ultimately allow sports to come back sooner.

How should we modify transportation in response to the virus? Hauling large amounts of people to and from athletic events may sound difficult, but the solution is actually quite simple. Sports teams should use the same large buses that usually take the teams involved to and from games. These buses should keep the same driver throughout trips while not letting any outsiders on. Even though the teams will be on the same buses, middle seats would have to remain open in every row so that players and coaches can maintain distance, like on airplanes. 

Feeding players and coaches will be a little more challenging. However, one possible idea is room service for the team. This way of eating would limit interaction with others while keeping people at least six feet away from each other. The food should be brought right to the rooms where individuals should eat alone. Once they are done, athletes should place the food remains outside without interacting with the hotel staff. 

Only time will tell to see if sports have a legitimate chance to come back. But if you’re a believer, think positively! There could be good news coming soon, that could change the whole situation, so keep being optimistic. Resuming sports could provide a form of safe entertainment for the public amid this disheartening health crisis.