The impact of Chinavirus on the sporting world has been dramatic over the past 48 hours with the cancelation of the NCAA “March Madness” Basketball Tournament and suspension of all major league sports. Auto and horse racing competitions will go on but without any audience while the NBA, MLB, NHL and Soccer Leagues around the world have suspended play. The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games schedule of July of this year are in danger of being canceled and yesterday the Olympic torch was lit in Athens, Greece with no spectators.
The total financial cost of canceling sports for the foreseeable future is difficult to calculate but lost revenue will be in the billions of dollars. The NCAA alone generates almost $1 billion from March Madness basketball games when media rights, ticket sales and sponsorships are tabulated. That does not include the lost revenue to travel, hospitality and entertainment for cities that host tournament venues. For now the major US sports leagues are on a 30 day suspension which will cost hundreds of millions of dollars in lost ticket sales and advertising. Sports networks like ESPN have nothing to report and have called March 12, 2020 “the day sports died.”
The direct financial impact on sports will be significant and the associated or tangential loss in revenue for beer gardens and chicken wing restaurants might be a hardship. The most significant disruption could be in the consciousness of America’s sports obsessed citizens as they come to terms with hour upon hour of idle time with nothing to distract or entertain them. The national sports fans are still in the shock and awe phase of the Kübler-Ross Grief Cycle, which is to say stage 1 or the grief stage. The next stage is anger.
Is there such a thing as LeBron “King” James without NBA Basketball? Unfortunately for him and all the other NBA China apologists the year 2020 can not be canceled and we’re only in the first quarter. Eventually the sports enthusiast, the music festival fan, the college student and anyone else that enjoys gathering in crowds larger than 25 people is going to focus on why their favorite leisure activity has been canceled? The answer to that question is found in Wuhan, China and the capital city of Beijing with allowed this Chinavirus (COVID-19) to incubate and spread around the world for over a month. The Chinese Communist Party knew the dangers of this Chinavirus in early December of last year and said nothing to the World Health Organization or the CDC. The CCP let it grow and spread and infect the innocent in countries all around the world and now Western Civilization is paying a steep price for Chinese duplicity. The truth of this Chinavirus cannot be suppressed or deflected and the resentment it will instill in sports fans will be long lasting.