13 May 2020

The road back to live sport in the USA: How can NBA, MLB and NHL return following the coronavirus crisis?

UFC 249 was the first major sporting event to return to US shores on Saturday night when Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje did battle in front of an empty arena in Jacksonville, Florida.

But while UFC boss Dana White continues to roll out shows for the next several weeks, the major sports leagues in the country are still attempting to find a way to resume their seasons.

In this video, Andrew Zimbalist, a professor of economics at Smith College, outlines the hurdles which need to be overcome for live sport such as basketball, baseball and ice hockey to return.

He says the things which need to be considered are:

  • Public health
  • Financial implications for the leagues
  • Financial implications for the owners of each team

Basketball, baseball and ice hockey are yet to confirm return dates for their seasons, but states across the country have begun easing their lockdowns as the number of cases levels off.

Florida has already re-opened some restaurants while maintaining social distancing rules as states look to restart their economies after nearly two months in lockdown.

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