This week in sport business has seen more of the same- alteration and adaptation of pro sport league schedules to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. No league or federation has been immune to the wrath of the virus.
The National Football League, which has already seen the coronavirus completely change their yearly rookie draft in April, is looking to alter its preseason schedule in an effort to give teams more time in their own training for how to handle health and safety issues that will inevitably arise when the off-season stops being completely virtual. The agreement, which is still being discussed by the NFL and the NFL Players Association, would also limit the exposure of teams before the beginning of the regular season in September. Under the discussed format, the four week preseason would cut the first and fourth weeks, and see each team have one home game and one road game.
Another league that is heavily altering its schedule is Major League Lacrosse. The six team league is replacing its entire season with a week-long tournament, from July 18-26 in Annapolis, Maryland. The quarantined event will be held without fans and will be preceded by a two day training camp. The tournament will consist of each team playing five games, a round robin format, and then a four team playoff. All of the leagues 150 players, coaches and staff will be staying at a nearby hotel where they will dress and undress, and then be bused to the stadium. Changing at the hotel will help the teams avoid using the stadium locker rooms.
Other sport business news from this week includes the scheduling of the World Ski Championships in Cortina, Italy, a region hit hard by Covid-19, and a House of Lords committee calling for a ban on sports gambling sponsorship.