By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
It’s admittedly not hard to feel pessimistic when thinking about the possibility of live sports this summer.
With each deflating update and self-quarantine guideline pushed deeper into spring, there just seems to be too much working against finishes to the NBA and NHL seasons, as well as the start of MLB season, in 2020. But speaking on a SnapChat interview, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the infectious disease expert who’s become the face and leading voice in handling the COVID-19 pandemic, provided a somewhat promising answer when asked about the potential of enjoying sports this summer.
“There’s a way of doing that: Nobody comes to the stadium [and] put [the players] in big hotels,” Fauci offered. “Wherever you want to play, keep them very well surveilled and have them tested every week and make sure they don’t wind up infecting each other or their family, and just let them play the season out.”
Fauci’s suggestion isn’t all that “out there,” and it’s actually what every league seems to be preparing for in the now.
The NBA has talked about moving the 2020 postseason to Las Vegas, the MLB has considered a May relaunch in Arizona using the state’s abundance of Spring Training facilities, and the NHL has reportedly looked at a location such as North Dakota as a potential location for the conclusion to their season.
It’s believed that all of these locations would come without fans in attendance tonight (it feels pretty clear that we’re nowhere close to that level of reopening the country at this point in time). And while that will feel foreign to everybody who doesn’t remember watching the 2006-07 Boston Bruins, the appetite for live sports is enough to make everybody deal with it, says Fauci.
“People say, ‘Well, you know, you can’t play without spectators.’ Well, I think you’ll probably get enough buy-in from people who are dying to see a baseball game, particularly me,” Fauci offered. “Living in Washington, we have the world champion Washington Nationals. I want to see them play again.”
President Donald Trump has recently built a superteam of sports leaders to help advise him on reopening the country, and particularly its sports league, all of which have been on hold or delayed by over a month now. That advisory group includes all four commissioners, as well as New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.