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Here's How the Coronavirus Could Impact Sports-Related Revenues

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BNP Paribas Open became the first U.S. sporting event to be impacted by the Coronavirus. Organizers announcing the postponement of the ATP Tour’s ‘5th major’.

The Ivy League followed suit on Tuesday announcing the cancellation of its post-season basketball showcase. The news has sports fans wondering if the two tournaments are the first - of many events - that will be eventually moved or cancelled due to the worldwide outbreak.

Dr. Harvey Schiller,  former Executive at the United States Olympic Committee, Turner Sports and International Baseball Federation, said at this time he doesn’t foresee coronavirus turning the sports schedule upside down. 

The long-time senior sports executive remains convinced that as long as the number of cases continues to grow incrementally, the majority of events on the March and April sports calendar will go on as planned. Schiller says that even with all of the current panic surrounding COVID-19, teams are still traveling without issue and fans are still attending games.

Holding events with only mission critical personnel in attendance is seemingly the worst case scenario for the big four sports leagues and the NCAA, so league revenues - outside of ticket sales and concessions - should be secure. 

The cancellation of the Ivy League tournament is a bit of an exception. Next week’s hard start to March Madness makes it impossible to reschedule the event.

Related Coronavirus Videos on TheStreet and Sports Illustrated

It’s possible -perhaps even likely - that an overnight spike in coronavirus cases could force the postponement of additional U.S. sporting events, but it’s all but guaranteed those games would eventually be made up. Both MLB and the NFL rescheduled games in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the Oakland A’s polished off the San Francisco Giants after an earthquake temporarily halted the 1989 World Series prior to Game 3.

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