2020 Sporting Events & COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has ground the world to a halt. Countries shut borders, airlines grounded planes, millions confined to quarantine – these are unprecedented times. The disruption and devastation caused by the virus are extremely hard to calculate and we hope to emerge from this sooner rather than later.
Every year, however, there are countless sporting events that attract millions of fans from every corner of the globe. On the 2020 sporting calendar, to name a few, we had: the Tokyo Olympics, the UEFA Euro 2020 football tournament, the Tour de France, the Ryder Cup, Wimbledon, the Masters, the US Open, the list goes on and continues to torment sporting fans. We are with you.
Mac Sports, being one of the leading sports travel companies for tennis and golf packages, are devastated we can’t take our guests to some of the events we most look forward to each year. We look forward to giving our customers unforgettable experiences at the world’s best sports events but no one could have predicted the outcome of 2020.
The decisions not to allow spectators into some events have not come without pressures, however. When the news of the postponement of the 2020 Ryder Cup tournament and for it to be played in 2021 was confirmed, it didn’t come without controversy. Fans and players alike were critical of the 2020 Ryder Cup, where teams from Europe and the United States collide biannually for glory, going forward without spectators permitted to watch one of golf’s most exciting tournaments! It seemed like sacrilege.
Europe’s captain, Padraig Harrington, told the BBC it was a “relief” that organisers decided to postpone the competition. “For me, it was very messy behind the scenes,” the 48-year-old Irishman said. “The team atmosphere the crowd generates, that would’ve been missed.”
However, there is light at the end of the tunnel! With more and more countries beginning to ease restrictions, there are murmurs of allowing fans back into stadiums and sporting events. Some sporting bodies are looking at ways to safely allow fans back into sporting events before the virus has been eradicated.
German Bundesliga football club, Union Berlin, has stated that they will be offering free COVID-19 tests to more than 20,000 fans in the hope to fill their stadium in September 2020. They are in talks with health officials before the full plan is released and in a statement from the club’s president, Dirk Zingler, said that they are “prepared to do everything in their power to welcome people without social distancing in the ground as quickly as possible”.
Miami Dolphins will be allowing 13,000 fans into the Hard Rock Stadium for their home game opener on the 20th of September. In France, a friendly match between Paris Saint-Germain saw the stadium open at ⅕ capacity to welcome spectators in a socially distanced, obligatory mask-wearing match. The English Premier League will also look to allow some fans (with a one-metre social distancing rule) from the 3rd of October.
Even before ‘normality’ can return, owners, teams, and fans want the return of spectators to sport. It’s what makes it! Without fans, sport is nothing!
We at Mac Sports are keen for things to get back to normal and welcome our guests back to some of the world’s best sporting events once again. We will update our website as news and updates from Wimbledon, the Masters, etc, roll in and we hope we can see your smiling faces back in the stands one day soon!