Apr 22, 2020 - Sports

Canada's role in the return of pro sports after coronavirus

Toronto Raptors player Kyle Lowry

Photo: Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

President Trump has spoken regularly about the return of sports. But in Canada, where large gatherings have been banned through August in much of the country, there's less urgency to bring them back.

Why it matters: Canada is home to 12 franchises that are part of North America's five major sports leagues, all currently weighing how and when to resume play.

  • NBA (1): Toronto Raptors
  • MLB (1): Toronto Blue Jays
  • MLS (3): Montreal Impact, Toronto FC, Vancouver Whitecaps
  • NHL (7): Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, Winnipeg Jets

Driving the news: Representatives from all four leagues said they have "open lines of communication" with Canadian officials, but that serious discussions about holding games in Canada have yet to occur, per NYT.

What to watch: Leagues have considered playing games in one centralized location without fans, an idea Anthony Fauci supports and one that would remove any Canadian obstacles.

  • Yes, but: Let's be honest — the "bubble" concept has major holes and is, quite frankly, not even worth taking seriously until a league releases an actual plan for how it would work.

Go deeper: Coronavirus causes delay in WNBA season and training camps

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