2020 March Madness & Coronavirus

By Ivan Ivanovich
Mar. 07, 2020

It is time for one of the best events in sports. The 2020 College Basketball Tournament that is widely known as March Madness will start in a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, it is coinciding with the coronavirus outbreak. A big question looms at the event sites. Will they need to cancel the tournament because of the virus? Will they hold the tournament but not allow any fans in the stadium? This could be life and death decision if they get it wrong.

Most fans will watch the games online or on the TV so it will really not affect them directly. It will different if there is no crowd noise during the game but is that a small price to pay? The big loss will be for the event cities. They have invested heavily in promoting the College Basketball Tournament and are depending on getting a lot of fans to rent hotel rooms and spend a lot of money on other entertainment in the cities. If they are canceled. Who will reimburse them?

Another aspect is the sports betting industry. The city of Las Vegas is healily invested in March Madness to fill the city with the second biggest sports betting volume of the year. Only the Super Bowl produces betting than the college basketball tournament and because the tournament last longer than the Super Bowl. The basketball tournament means more revenue for Las Vegas than the Super Bowl. It would be a major economic hit if the tournament were cancelled. Las Vegas could survive if they just decided to hold the tournament but not allow fans into the games. But, if the coronavirus continues to spread. Will anyone go to Las Vegas when they can bet from home. There are a lot of online sports betting sites in operation and they can easily be accessed from anywhere in the US. Why would someone take the risk of contracting the coronavirus when he could stay home and bet on his phone?