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Sport and the Impact of a Global Pandemic

by Nathan Zachary

Over two hundred thousand people have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic around the world. Globally, severe steps are being taken in an effort to slow and block the spread of the potentially fatal virus, whose death toll has approached 9,000. The majority of government agencies now encourage social distance, if not complete isolation. Large events have been cancelled or postponed to avoid crowding too many people into a single location, making sport one of the most affected industries. Globally, the development of 3G football grounds and the installation of synthetic cricket pitches have ceased, while existing stadiums and fields sit empty with no games taking place and no spectators present.

In the United Kingdom, there were discussions that games would take place behind closed doors while still being aired so that spectators could watch from the comfort of their own homes, as opposed to sitting around an artificial football pitch design and perhaps spreading infections. After multiple players were found to have coronavirus, even this practise was discontinued. Euro 2020 has been cancelled and rescheduled for a year later, thereby pausing football around the world.

The vast majority of fans recognise the severity of the infection and its potential impact, despite their indignation. It is unlikely that this will be the death knell for the sport, as fans will continue to be strongly devoted to their clubs, but it will halt the construction of every 3G football surface in the globe for at least a few months. In addition, individuals have been advised not to visit pubs and bars, meaning that these establishments may be forced to close, especially without the additional revenue generated by spectators coming to watch players on an artificial football field design or synthetic cricket pitch installation.

The vast majority of local clubs have postponed or cancelled matches or seasons, following the lead of the larger leagues. In turn, this may create complications for the 3G football pitch building and synthetic cricket pitch installation businesses who were engaged to restore or reinstall a grassroots club’s pitch. As the economy enters yet another recession, there is a great deal of uncertainty and concern about their future, as there is for every industry in the globe. It would not be shocking if some of these businesses failed due to a lack of revenue from local sports organisations and schools who have been forced to cancel or postpone their events.

Other sports, including horse racing and basketball, have also been impacted, with the Grand National being cancelled and the current NBA season being postponed due to players testing positive for the virus and organisations attempting to avoid huge gatherings. However, Japan maintains convinced that the Olympics will be held this summer with full attendance.

Time will tell how long sporting events will be impacted by the coronavirus, as well as how many artificial football field design and creation companies will survive the epidemic.

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