It is no longer a matter of opinion that the effects of the coronavirus are being felt in every facet of life. Businesses, schools, churches, and other places people congregate are closed and about a third of the world’s population is either under lockdown or in quarantine.
The world of sports has not been spared either with major football leagues in Europe halting their seasons as health workers and others on the frontline keep working to contain the spread of the virus and minimize its impact.
That said, there are some that think that football stadiums should reopen so that the football seasons across Europe can complete and the sports calendar is not affected too much. Do they make a good case, or would it be disastrous to do so?
Containing the Spread of the Virus
One of the biggest reasons many people think it is not a good idea to reopen stadiums is because it would be impossible to control the spread of the coronavirus when tens of thousands of people congregate in a small space. The evidence is in gatherings where a lot of people who attended were infected with the virus. It only takes one person to infect hundreds if not thousands of people.
Those who want football to restart claim it would be possible to complete the seasons in empty stadiums. This is a viable idea as it eliminates the large crowds that football attracts. The players, coaches, and other members of staff could be isolated in hotels and checked regularly to ensure they are safe and virus-free. This idea is viable with one major caveat; it would take only one player or member of staff to infect all the people they are in close contact with.
Providing a Source of Entertainment
The one thing people are doing a lot while they are home is streaming movies and TV shows. If the pandemic goes on for long, people might run out of things to watch and will get bored. Football can help fill this gap, even if the games are played in empty stadiums. It is a win-win for everyone because:
- football associations get to complete their seasons
- TV and other broadcasters get to make money because they could sell ads during the games
- companies that have sponsorship deals with football clubs get the value they paid for
- football lovers stay entertained
Helping Those Who Are Not Working Right Now
Betting and gaming platforms have seen a dip in their revenues because there is almost nothing to bet on right now. Players who also supplement their incomes with betting wins can no longer bet on football and other sports. Players would gladly visit their favourite online casino if stadiums reopened, for a chance to make some money and find some form of entertainment while they are under lockdown.
Most of the people who work in or around stadiums have lost their jobs. Vendors who sell merchandise on match days, the people who clean the stadiums, drivers, and many others are in this category. Reopening the stadiums would give some of these people their jobs back and even though it might not be much, it will reduce the number of unemployed, especially in cities where football is the main employer.
It Will Bring a Sense of Closure
Players and fans have been in limbo since football seasons were halted. It is important to remember that most football leagues in Europe have a promotion and relegation system. There are teams that were on the verge of being relegated but might salvage their positions in top tier leagues, depending on how they play their remaining games.
Others are on the verge of promotion and might not be promoted if stadiums are not reopened and leagues allowed to come to their natural conclusions. Reopening the stadiums will let these teams know their fate and will give players, fans, and everyone involved closure.
Whether or not to reopen football stadiums is a difficult discussion to have right now. While there are those who see the advantages of doing so, albeit at a smaller capacity, there are those who argue the risk of thousands of people contracting the coronavirus is not worth it.
What do you think?