Here is the latest information we have to date regarding sports and COVID-19
League Targets May 8 As Earliest Date To Begin Workouts
Earlier today, the NBA told teams that the league will be altering the guidelines set in place regarding players using team facilities and players working out. The league said that the changes “allow for safe and controlled environments for players to train in states that allow them to do so, and to create a process for identifying safe training options for players located in other states.” The NBA told teams it is implementing the rule changes no earlier than May 8th. The league also said it could push this timing back if deemed necessary.
Virtual Draft Breaks Viewership Records
From Thursday to Saturday, the NFL held the 2020 draft in a completely virtual format, and the results were excellent. Not only did the virtual drafting process go smoothly, but also, millions of people tuned in to view the 2020 NFL Draft. The first night of the draft drew 15.6 million viewers across four networks, breaking the old record for the highest viewership of a draft. 55 million total people tuned in at some point to watch a part of the NFL’s annual three-day event. The NFL also was able to raise over $100 million in COVID-19 relief efforts through the league’s “NFL Draft-A-Thon LIVE.”
League Has Discussed Idea Of A June Restart
On Wednesday, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman discussed several potential ideas the league has about finishing the remainder of the paused season with Sportsnet. He was quoted as saying, “We’re hopeful that by doing the right things in the short term that we’re able to come back and hopefully complete this season on some basis that is fair and has integrity.”
Some of the ideas that Bettman addressed are as follows:
- Bettman confirmed the NHL is looking at a four-city plan to restart the season. The plan would reportedly be to play three games a day.
- The league is no longer planning on holding games at neutral-site venues like college arenas or small stadiums.
- The NHL has discussed potentially holding the 2020 draft in June, before the completion of the current season.
- Bettman has been in contact with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, but no decision the NBA makes is connected to the NHL.
Indians To Pay Portion Of Staff Through June 30th
The Cleveland Indians announced that they will pay the regular salaries of full-time employees through June 30th. However, some members of the organization have had to be furloughed due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic. The team said that executives took reductions in salary so that they could ensure other members of the organization received pay. The Indians are just one of a few teams that have guaranteed employees their full salaries through June.