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2020 was a rough year for, well, just about everything. Including sports, with leagues canceling hundreds of events. The MLB sued its insurers to get back the billions it said it lost on unsold tickets and concessions.
This year, games with fans are back, though teams will be paying much more for insurance.
Insurance premiums for games could double next year, according to broker NFP. But Joe Favorito, a sports marketing consultant who teaches at Columbia University, said not letting fans back in is financially just not an option for teams.
“You need to have fans in the stand,” he said. “So you’ll see teams running the risk of not having the proper insurance, versus not having people in the building.”
He expects teams will try and absorb the increased cost of insurance, in an effort to woo reluctant fans back.
Attracting those fans in person is a bigger deal for some sports than others. Marc Edelman, professor of sports law at Baruch College, said NFL teams get the biggest share of their revenue from TV deals and will be the least hurt by fans staying home.
“By contrast, baseball and hockey teams have generated the greatest share of their revenue from live attendance,” he said.
But at the end of the day, Edelman too said no sport can survive without a live crowd.
COVID-19 Economy FAQs
Millions of Americans are unemployed, but businesses say they are having trouble hiring. Why?
This economic crisis is unusual compared to traditional recessions, according to Daniel Zhao, senior economist with Glassdoor. “Many workers are still sitting out of the labor force because of health concerns or child care needs, and that makes it tough to find workers regardless of what you’re doing with wages or benefits,” Zhao said. “An extra dollar an hour isn’t going to make a cashier with preexisting conditions feel that it’s safe to return to work.” This can be seen in the restaurant industry: Some workers have quit or are reluctant to apply because of COVID-19 concerns, low pay, meager benefits and the stress that comes with a fast-paced, demanding job. Restaurants have been willing to offer signing bonuses and temporary wage increases. One McDonald’s is even paying people $50 just to interview.
Could waiving patents increase the global supply of COVID-19 vaccines?
India and South Africa have introduced a proposal to temporarily suspend patents on COVID-19 vaccines. Backers of the plan say it would increase the supply of vaccines around the world by allowing more countries to produce them. Skeptics say it’s not that simple. There’s now enough supply in the U.S that any adult who wants a shot should be able to get one soon. That reality is years away for most other countries. More than 100 countries have backed the proposal to temporarily waive COVID-19 vaccine patents. The U.S isn’t one of them, but the White House has said it’s considering the idea.
Can businesses deny you entry if you don’t have a vaccine passport?
As more Americans get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the economy continues reopening, some businesses are requiring proof of vaccination to enter their premises. The concept of a vaccine passport has raised ethical questions about data privacy and potential discrimination against the unvaccinated. However, legal experts say businesses have the right to deny entrance to those who can’t show proof.
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