Coronavirus: Sport will bounce back
Wimbledon cancelled, Tokyo Olympics and Euro 2020 postponed, cricket and football on hold, the Tour de France in doubt, this summer of sport has been decimated.
But Nicola McCullough, sports events expert at the University of Salford Business School, believes events will bounce back stronger than ever next year.
She said: “It is almost a collective sigh every time that there is another major sporting event postponed or cancelled. For Wimbledon there was no other choice, it would have been too much to rearrange it for later this year. Eastbourne and Queens have also gone, meaning no grass court season at all.
“There will be a big direct economic impact this summer. More than half a million fans travel to watch Wimbledon, and their money will be missed by the local economy of the town, and the broadcasters will also suffer with nothing to show.
“But sport will bounce back for sure. 2021 is shaping up to be a huge year of sport and I think sports fans are loyal. There will a huge appetite for sporting events next year. People will want that immersive experience of being in the crowd, being with people, feeling that sense of belonging whilst watching sporting events. We could even see more events added to the sporting calendar as demand for tickets will be even greater than usual. It could be huge opportunity for the sports and events industries to capitalise on increased interest.
“For similar reasons I don’t think major sporting events will see a long-term impact from this. Wages and prize money in some sports won’t be affected in the long term. Interest will be huge and the crowds will return. We just need to get through a barren 2020 and look forward to a bumper 2021.”
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