Nothing goes together quite like summer and sports. Except maybe wings and beer. While the future of sports looked iffy following major shutdowns this spring, many officials are finding unique ways to bring sporting events to the people.
While it’s still a little unclear on whether or not football will return this year, many other major sports have started or have plans to start again soon, most of them without spectators. But with today’s online streaming and TV options, you’ll be able to stop watching the reruns of the classics and start watching your favorite players make history again.
The players and Major League Baseball (MLB) have finally come to an agreement: teams will play a 60-game regular-season schedule starting July 23rd or 24th. Players started training on July 1. It’s still unclear if fans will be allowed at all the games in 2020, and how maybe fans would be allowed if at all. That may be on a city-by-city basis. When reporters asked Houston Astros owner Jim Crane about it on June 23, he said “that’s the plan.” Whether that actually happens or not, baseball is available to stream and will likely be on all the TVs at your nearest sports pub.
The MLB isn’t the only major sport that’s kicking things off in late July. The National Hockey League (NHL) begins two weeks of training on July 10, then moves to their hub cities on July 23 or 24 and starts on July 30. All teams — both the teams playing in the round robin tournament and the teams playing in a qualifying series — will play one exhibition game in the hub city.
NASCAR, along with golf, was among the first sports to come back after the hiatus. It was also the first one to welcome fans. In mid-June, auto races in Florida and Alabama were the first major American sporting event to have spectators since mid-March. If you can’t make it to an in-person race, though, you can watch it on cable or with other options outlined here.
The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) recently announced that they’re moving forward with an eight-team, 23-game tournament. It will be in Salt Lake City, where all players, team staff and officials are expected to stay in a “bubble,” between two hotels and two stadiums around the area. Although there are usually 9 teams that play, Orlando Pride withdrew after six players and four staffers tested positive for COVID-19. See the full broadcast schedule here.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) recently released a full restart timeline and bubble plan for the season. Initial COVID-19 testing for players began on June 23, and training camp happens in Florida with three scrimmages per team, and seeding games begin on July 30. On August 17, the playoffs begin and the NBA draft is expected to happen on October 16. If at any time, a player is thought to be at high risk for COVID-19, the team can designate him as a "protected" player who will not report but will not lose salary.
The PGA professional golf tour has been back in business since June 11, although five golfers withdrew on June 24 over potential COVID-19 exposure. Commissioner Jay Monahan announced that the tournament will continue as planned starting in Connecticut on June 25. There will be no fans in attendance, but you can stream the tour on PGA Live here.
New York still plans to hold the 2020 U.S. Open this year on August 31, although it will be without fans in the stands. There are four Grand Slam tournaments each year, and the Australian Open already happened in February, beating the chaos. The U.S. Open will be the second of the four to take place. Wimbledon was cancelled and May’s French Open was rescheduled to September. The U.S. Open recently announced that it has restored wheelchair tennis, too.
There are many ways to celebrate the return of all these sports as you watch — you can build your own snack stadium, break out the peanuts and grill some hot dogs for the return of baseball, or (our favorite), grab some takeout wings to compliment your sports binge.