COVID-19 and its Effect on Traditional Sports

Sports like baseball, soccer, and basketball are a means of entertainment that allows for families and friends to gather around together to enjoy watching some good games. Along with discussions about strategies and past tactics, sports is a hobby that can be enjoyed by individuals of all ages. 

However, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is putting a pause on all things sports. Stadiums are now empty as social distancing measures are put in place and practiced by the population. Meanwhile, the payrolls of athletes may be subject to change due to the decrease in foot traffic. This is because such measures are integral to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), effective social distancing involves maintaining at least one metre of distance between oneself and others who are either sneezing or coughing. When an individual sneezes or coughs, there are small drops of liquid that get spread from the nose and mouth areas, and such droplets may contain COVID-19.

Those within the vicinity of others should also avoid touching their own nose, mouth, and eyes. This is because the virus could be picked up by hand and transferred to these aforementioned areas. COVID-19 can then enter an individual’s body and make them ill. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also outlined similar practices when it comes to the mitigation of spreading COVID-19. According to the website, individuals should stay at least two metres away from each other, avoid groups, and not attend mass gatherings.   

“COVID-19 can live for hours or days on a surface, depending on factors such as sunlight and humidity,” the CDC website stated. “Social distancing helps limit contact with infected people and contaminated surfaces.”

In an interview, Gil Fried, who is a professor at the University of New Haven, noted that while having fans at the stands is an important revenue stream for athletes, it’s only one of many streams being affected by COVID-19. Other streams include, for example, revenue generated through concessions, ticket sales, and parking.

While social distancing practices are being upheld by businesses and consumers involved with traditional sports at large, it is different for esports. Esports are competitive video games where players duke it out against others for prizes, titles, and to be part of a community. A few examples of such titles include Overwatch, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, as well as Fortnite. These digital sports get livestreamed on platforms such as YouTube and Twitch, allowing fans to watch the games from the comfort of their own homes. 

While some esports championship games, such as Hearthstone and Overwatch, at times involve a live audience on a grand stage, the company running those matches opted for a cancellation of them due to the need for social distancing. Those esports stadiums now offer a similar picture when compared to traditional sports. 

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve and shape the sports industry, merchants must adapt in order to keep their businesses running. Merchant Broker is here to support clients with various payment solutions that champion contactless payment methods and digital transactions, helping with the mitigation of the pandemic. 

To contact Merchant Broker, call 1-888-668-0733 or email


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