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Millions of us sports fans are wondering what is going to happen to sports this year, especially the NBA which was suspended right towards the end of its season.
Well, it looks like we have some updates on when decisions will be made and what those decisions could possibly look like.
I think we also have a better outlook on if fans will be able to attend games this season.
The NBA is reportedly waiting until May 1 to make it decision on what to do with the current season.
Games have now been suspended for approximately one month as the league has tried to wait it out to see what will happen with the virus.
They’ve been consulting closely with experts like, Dr. David Ho, an infectious disease expert who worked with the NBA after Magic Johnson’s HIV diagnosis, and have been coming up with different types of ideas.
One of the latest ideas to be considered is finishing out the season in a “bubble.”
Basically, all of the games would be continued in one single location such as Las Vegas or even an international destination like the Bahamas.
In these locations, players would live in a hotel isolated from the rest of the of the public. Presumably, all of the staff would also be located within the hotel.
Teams would then simply play their games and not venture out anywhere until the season is finished.
This will take extra commitment from the players but I think it can be done for a few reasons.
NBA teams are so much smaller than other sports teams like football teams, keeping their rosters contained is much more practical.
Also, there are only about 20 games left of the NBA regular season so it is not like they would have to play the majority of their season in this quarantined environment.
And when it comes to the playoffs, you are only dealing with a small subset of teams and a few series so I think that could be done.
Many basketball players are accustomed to playing tournaments in one location and this would be like one very big and long tournament.
I’m not sure what they are planning to do with families, which I know has been a big point of contention for the MLB in their proposed plans to do something similar in Arizona. My guess is that family contact would have to be severely limited in order for this to work.
As for fans?
It’s most likely not going to happen.
Dr. Brian Schwartz, vice chief for clinical affairs in the division of infectious diseases at the University of California San Francisco, and Dr. John Swartzberg, clinical professor emeritus at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, have both stated that allowing fans at games is simply not possible until a vaccine is readily available.
In their words, it would be like throwing kerosene on a fire.
This is not surprising to me at all as I have felt that fans returning to games is simply not feasible at this stage until we have a vaccine in place.
It really makes me wonder what it’s going to happen to other sports like baseball and football, though.
Both of those sports will have to play an entire season potentially under some type of bubble scenario.
It’s possible that once the disease is under control and testing is so widespread, that you could play out the season but it would require even more commitment from players to not have a social life and even limited family life.
With baseball, you would definitely be talking about a shortened season. And with that shortened season, many athletes may have less pay. So then you have to consider things like expiring contracts and whether or not athletes would want to risk injury on a short season with limited pay/family time or just wait things out another year.
It gets very complicated for a lot of reasons.
But ultimately, I don’t think fans are gonna be sitting in the stands for sports until we have a vaccine. Some venues in certain states might get bold enough to try it but the potential for it to backfire is so high, I just don’t think it will happen but we’ll see. Things might feel very different in a few months when there are only a slow trickle of cases coming in.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.