COVID-19 Impacting Sports World; "There's Nerves"

As the coronavirus continues to spread, the sports world is taking action in hopes of limiting transmission

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
March 10, 2020 - 9:50 am
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As the coronavirus continues to spread, the sports world is taking action in hopes of limiting transmission. Several sports leagues have cancelled games, while others are playing games without fans present.

“There’s nerves,” Toronto Global News Radio commentator Greg Brady said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “There’s no question there’s more nerves about travel. My family and I went to Orlando in late-February. We were just there four days, and we saw people with masks in airports. You have, I’m sure. All your listeners have. But it wasn’t what it is now. If you told me there were going to be all these concerts and festivals cancelled, if you told me the San Jose Sharks news, where they’re weighing the concept of playing in empty arenas – they’re going to have to play a game somewhere, not their regular arena, and not with sold-out crowds. Three weeks ago, I wouldn’t have foreseen that.”

COVID-19 isn’t the first virus to impact the sports world. The 2003 Women’s World Cup, for example, moved from China to the United States because of SARS.

COVID-19 could certainly impact sports in Toronto.

“There’s nerves,” Brady reiterated. “The rest of the country doesn’t like it sometimes, but when Toronto sneezes, the rest of Canada kind of catches cold, whether it’s economically or otherwise. So there’s some nerves being in big crowds. . . . What’s happening to the Sharks right now could easily happen in another venue.”

Seattle is the site of the most severe COVID-19 outbreak in the United States

“Remember, Seattle is not too far [from Canada],” Brady said. “There’s a lot of cross-boarder traffic going from Washington state to British Columbia. So when you think about where the Vancouver Canucks are, when you think about crossing the boarder down into Washington state, I’ve seen the cases in New York state and New Jersey and now starting in Pennsylvania – you’re getting people test positive for it who didn’t go to China, didn’t go to Iran, didn’t go to Italy and just have come into contact with people who have. The fact that you’re getting a lot of domestic transfers of the illness is concerning to everybody.”

Which is why various sports leagues are taking action. From public transit to concession stands to seating, thousands of fans share confined spaces over several hours.

“It’s got everybody on edge,” Brady said. “There’s no question about it.”