Nov 2, 2020 - Sports

The third coronavirus wave means even more sports uncertainty

Illustration of a giant wave casting a shadow over a stadium.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

America's pro sports leagues sputtered back to life in 2020 with bubbles, comprehensive testing programs and a host of other changes that still seem unimaginable after the fact.

The state of play: The leagues succeeded because they have enormous wealth and were operating mostly in "salvage the season" mode — but now comes the hard part: Figuring out how to do it again — this time from an even worse financial position and amid a third coronavirus wave.

The state of play: If 2020 had been a normal year, the NBA and NHL would already be in the midst of their 2021 campaigns. Instead, they don't even know when they'll start.

  • MLB, which nearly canceled its season in July as owners and players bickered over money, is likely headed for another brutal labor fight this winter.

And don't forget about the many other leagues in this country that are hoping to have a season next year, all while trying to recover from lost revenue and adjust to new realities.

Go deeper