We’re Gonna Have Live Sports Again!
March 12, 2020 is going to be remembered for a long time. It was the first full day without live sports after the NBA postponed the season after Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz tested positive. After the NBA’s announcement, virtually every other sports league in the world followed suit. What followed was obvious: no live sports and a lot of discussions about when sports could return, in any capacity. The process has started slowly: Korean baseball returned a few days ago, Taiwanese baseball returned a couple of weeks ago, soccer in Belarus started on time (with a good deal of controversy), but now we have the first return of a major sports league.
The Bundesliga is back. Following deliberations by the German government, the Bundesliga will resume play on May 15th, ten days from now. It’ll obviously be done behind closed doors, as just about every sporting event for at least the rest of the year will, but it represents the culmination of a tremendous effort by Germany to ramp up testing capacity, contact trace and implement strict guidelines to help the country return to a sense of normalcy.
Obviously, this return is not being done in a laissez-faire way. There will be regular testing of the players, who will also be placed in isolation with each other in order to remove all possibility of reinfection. There also is slight concern after the news that three members of FC Köln tested positive for the virus (all three are asymptomatic, but that doesn’t mean much, does it?). Despite this, the league and the government feel that the contagion in the country is contained enough that they can resume activities.
Needless to say, I’m excited that live sports will be returning. It’s something that the world needs right now and I’m anticipating more leagues to be following the German example in the coming weeks.