Empty Stadiums and Digital Drafts: Adjusting to Life Without Sports

Leagues, teams, athletes and fans wonder how and when professional sports will return.

Two short months ago, it seemed inconceivable that we might not have NBA playoffs, no Tigers Opening Day, no Olympic games in 2020. 

And yet, here we are, in the month of May, with no NBA champions crowned and no baseball games to watch.

Sports have often been a uniting force in the most turbulent times, especially here in Detroit. Now, we are left with a void the size of Comerica Park.

How are you passing the time without sports? Is it something you’re missing right now? What hopes do you have that we might get our fix in some form or another soon? Detroit Today’s Stephen Henderson delves into these questions and more.

Listen: The Athletic’s Bill Shea weighs in on the disruption caused by the suspension of sports amid COVID-19.

Jake Neher/WDET
Jake Neher/WDET


Bill Shea is a senior writer for The Athletic, based in Detroit, covering the business of sports. Shea, who covers the financial side of professional sports, says he still has “a lot to write about, sports are very much at the forefront of everyone’s minds because of all the leagues…trying to figure how and if to come back.” 

The suspension of sporting events due to COVID-19 affects far more than just the athletes, it impacts the entire industry. According to Shea, “There’s a very real human impact on the people who are not getting nine-digit paydays normally… wealth doesn’t trickle down very much but pain does.” He adds that the hot dog and beer vendors, along with other sporting arena personnel are in a very different situation than the athletes themselves.

As far as what the future of sports may look like, Shea says that “there is demand for the product at all levels, but people are going to have great trepidation about being in an arena of 20,000 to 40,000 people.” 

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  • Detroit Today
    Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.