By David Troppens
With the coronavirus (COVID-19) impacting pretty much every aspect of people’s lives, it may have been the sports world that it hit the quickest.
During a period of time when one still could routinely grocery shop, go out to eat for dinner or go to school, it was the world of athletics started seeing cancellations as early as March 11.
On that date, the NBA suspended its season after a player tested positive for COVID-19. The next day, the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, U.S. Soccer and major collegiate sports followed suit. Eventually European soccer leagues followed suit as did the Xtreme Football League.
With all the cancellations, was there anything sports fans could watch live on television last weekend? Believe it or not, there were a few events.
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) is still going strong, albeit in a rather strange fashion.
Friday night’s SmackDown event which was to be hosted at Detroit’s Little Caesars Arena (LCA) did take place, but not at the LCA. SmackDown hosted its weekly show at the Performance Center in Orlando, Florida in front of no crowd. The WWE has also moved its Raw, SmackDown and NXT live televised shows to the location for the foreseeable future. In fact, as of press time, the WWE was still planning on hosting WrestleMania 36 on April 5 at the Performance Center.
The Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) also hosted the Storm World Series of Bowling XI Finals, which was televised live on Fox Sports 1 on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. The event was won by Australia’s Jason Belmonte, earning the lefty bowler his third consecutive PBA World Championship Title. The audience was limited to officials and family members of the competitors.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) hosted its March 14 event with some of the matches on ESPN. UFC president Dana White intended to continue UFC’s scheduled events but on Monday White postponed the company’s next three events indefinitely. They were scheduled for March 21, March 28 and April 11.
The Mexican soccer league Liga MX also hosted some televised matches in empty stadiums during the weekend. However, those were the final games played before the suspension of their season also occurred.
So what live sporting events will happen this weekend? As of now, it looks like the WWE may be your only option.