National sports affected by coronavirus with concerns of social distancing


Nick Metzger

Empty Heinz stadium in Pittsburgh, PA

Nick Metzger, Writer

With the NFL (National Football League)  just starting, the NBA (National Basketball League)  and NHL (National Hockey League)  nearing the end of the season, and the MLB (Major League Baseball) in the middle of their season, there are a lot of questions about what’s going to happen this season. There are a lot of players opting out of their season, virtual events, and what teams have done in the past. 

The NFL has 32 teams with a max of 46 players on each roster plus the coaching staff, so it is hard to socially distance. The NBA has 30 teams with 15 players on each roster plus the coaching staff in an always indoor facility would be hard as well. The NHL has 31 teams with 23 players on each roster in all indoor facilities which could be hard as well. However, the MLB has 30 teams with 40 players on each roster however, most of the MLB’s facilities are outdoor. In most leagues many players are opting out of their 2020 season. 

The 2020 NFL Draft was on April 23. The NFL commissioner Roger Goodell hosted a virtual draft at his house in  Bronxville, New York.  The NFL is limiting the amount of fans in the stadium for the 2020 season. Sixty-six NFL players have opted out of the 2020 season due to coronavirus concerns. Most of the NFL stadiums are playing fake crowd noises to make the players feel “hyped.” 

The NBA hasn’t had their draft quite yet but there are still a lot of questions on how they are going to do it. The NBA has no fans in their courts. The NBA has electronic screens that surround the stadiums that project real fans on Zoom calls. Yes, you still have to pay to get access to those calls, just as you would pay to get tickets to a live game. Ten total players opted out of the 2020 NBA season. 

The NHL is planning to have their draft virtually, like the NFL did, on October 6-7.  The NHL has not had any fans attending games. even players opted out of the 2020 NHL season. Nearing the Stanley Cup championship between the Dalles Stars and the Tampa Bay Lightning, there are probably not going to be any fans there. 

The MLB draft was on June 10 in Virtually  Omaha, Nebraska. The draft was shortened from 40 rounds to 37 rounds. There are no fans attending any MLB games. Sixteen players have opted out of the 2020 MLB season.