After almost three months of life without sports, in some countries where the amount of daily COVID-19 cases started falling, many sports associations have resumed their tournaments. Yesterday, English soccer’s Premier League returned exactly 100 days after the shutdown. The German’s Bundesliga restarted even before, in the middle of May.
However, strict rules still apply to those games. In England, just 300 people are allowed to enter the stadium and only 110 of them will be permitted pitchside.
As we all know, the NHL has also revealed their plans to return for the 2020 Playoffs. The rules for Phase 3 and 4 are still not clear but we can be pretty sure that there will also be some restrictions on the amount of people allowed into facilities and some changes to another aspects of the game. For instance, players and coaching staff on the bench will be forced to wear face-masks or full face shields and fighting might be forbidden.
Some potential issues that could happen should the NHL season continue. pic.twitter.com/su6D6vpbcZ— Darryl Wolski (@2112hockey) May 11, 2020
All those things also lead us to another thought: how long will those restrictions will be a part of sporting events? The government in Germany have extended a ban on all public events till the end of October and are discussing a potential extension till the end of the year. For some European hockey teams, playing without fans can be lethal. Budgets of many of them are very dependant on ticket revenue, so playing a significant part of the season in empty arenas could hurt them very badly and might not even be possible.
Corona-setback in Germany; government extends ban on all public events until at least end of October. Could be extended until end of year. Sports of course secondary, but this is bad news for the DEL hockey league, will also affect international games. https://t.co/hKOABQyUB5— Szymon Szemberg (@Sz1909_Szemberg) June 17, 2020
NHL teams are more independent and have much more sources of income. However, they will be affected too. The salary cap before the COVID-19 hiatus was expected to rise for next season, but now it’s not even certain yet if it could stay at this season’s $81.5 million. There have already been some rumours that it might drop below this bar.
Although there is some positive news, New Zealand have declared the coronavirus elimination and celebrated it with a return of the Super Rugby tournament in fully packed stadiums
Day 2 of rugby’s return to New Zealand after the country’s elimination of #Covid19 and Auckland has managed to attract the biggest Super Rugby crowd for a Blues home game in 15 years - with 41,000 people at Eden Park#BLUvHUR #SuperRugbyAotearoa pic.twitter.com/ub1MNXa8nR— Ashleigh Stewart (@Ash_Stewart_) June 14, 2020
But more importantly how good was it seeing a sold out Eden Park stadium. Live professional sport with crowds back again. Well done New Zealand pic.twitter.com/9WCMfJmEzt— Dan Carter (@DanCarter) June 14, 2020
Other News and Links
Reporters continued to sort through the Buffalo Sabres organizational changes after hiring a new general manager.
#Sabres scouts fired: Cory Banika, Steve Cocker, Mark Ferner, Marcus Fingal, Scott Halpenny, Randy Hansch, Teemu Numminen, Tom O’Connor, Ron Pyette, Matt Tiesling, Magnus Welin - all amateur scots.— Melissa Burgess (@_MelissaBurgess) June 17, 2020
Pro scout John van Boxmeer also gone.
Just 4 amateur scouts & 2 pro scouts left.
The full list of people who were fired on Tuesday is below.
Final head count in #Sabres' Tuesday house cleaning appears to be 22. It's a bloodletting that may be unprecedented in #NHL history - certainly in one day by one franchise.— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) June 17, 2020
If Terry Pegula wanted lean, he's got it now. Scouting staff of 21 has been reduced to 7. pic.twitter.com/q5HyJUoJL3
If you think this year couldn’t get any weirder, you are wrong. Apparently Pavel Datsyuk holed up in a Russian monastery with a priest denying the coronavirus pandemic.