BLOOMINGBURG, NY – Do sports fans return after quarantine and the ultimate (hopeful) resumption of our sports leagues? Unsure of a great deal other than our entertainment at the moment, the thought has crossed my mind a time or three. Will an audience actually attend venues or just sit in their living rooms watching games? The answer may not be so obvious after this new-found norm of life minus the NHL, NBA & MLB.
Maybe you’re reading more, catching up on long-awaited home improvement projects, spending time connecting with the family in the form of card games and Monopoly and maybe listening to fireside chats on an old Wilco.
We can’t expect when the powers that be deem our world safe to once again move about freely that the majority of the population will believe a declaration from the WHO or CDC or whomever the hell calls the all systems go once again. The NHL, MLB, and NBA are all facing this stark reality as a nosedive in attendance numbers loom. All three entities will be vying for the same audience reeling from the financial fallout of the Covid-19 outbreak. Charlie Finley’s adage of “money talks and bullshit walks” is gonna get real in the sports world. How to fill arenas and stadiums is going to keep the marketing geniuses up at night looking for clever ways to pack these events. The wife may want to go see a Broadway show after being cooped up for a few months, a quiet dinner for two, or visit family for a weekend—all the old activities put on hold that will require a decision where to budget money.
Priorities suggest sports will lose out.
Sports fans of a modest tax bracket will also have to decide between a hockey or basketball playoff game or a regular season baseball game on a beautiful Spring day or evening. The same angst sports lovers have endured in losing their escape from life will be transferred to team owners and management in lost revenue over the course of finalizing their respective schedules. I’m on record as saying we will see more pay one price baseball doubleheader’s like the one’s of my youth. Another conflict may be getting a venue transformed from hockey to basketball in short order on a tight scheduling window. There was a lot of talk about playing games in empty stadiums prior to league suspension but we may be on the cusp of hearing crickets all across sports nation once play does resume. What about advertising dollars paid and lost in these leagues? Are there refunds to further hamper operating costs although I would think there is some kind of insurance to cover all parties bottom line?
You can be sh!t sure the average Joe will pay for these unfortunate times and loss of team revenue with an increase in ticket prices, parking, food and cable television fees once the aftermath is in not to distant rear view mirror.
Comment below and come back tomorrow for Junoir Blaber, who likes orange balls.