Sports Event Tracker: August 17 update

Two Circles analysts track the number of sports events taking place globally against an originally-scheduled, pre-Covid-19 sporting calendar. Only events for professional, competitive sports events with a projected paid ticketed attendance of at least 5,000 (pre-Covid-19) are considered.

Update: August 17
Time period: January 1-August 16, 2020
Originally scheduled number of events:
 29,651
Actual number of events taken place: 15,467 (52%)

2020 Global Sports Calendar (Number of Weekly Events)

Sports events to reach ‘normal’ levels in mid-September

In September the number of weekly sports events will exceed the number originally scheduled pre-Covid-19 for the first time according to projections by Two Circles.

The week of September 7-13 will be see a projected 1,043 sports events taking place, slightly more than the number of events originally scheduled (1,037) pre-pandemic. Primarily, this is due to the 2020/21 top-tier domestic football seasons in England, Spain and Holland all starting on either September 11 or 12, and the NBA and NHL play-offs taking place at a time when it would usually be off-season for both leagues.

The week the largest number of sports events (1,340) were due to take place globally in 2020 (pre-Covid-19) was March 30-April 5, with domestic football in Europe still in season, in addition to MLB and the NBA in North America. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, only 73 events – 5% – actually took place, and all behind-closed-doors.

However, the week where the most amount of sports events are now projected to take place is September 14-20. To date, the week during which the largest number of sports events have taken place is March 2-8, when 965 events including the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup final in Australia took place.

In the week commencing June 22, for the first time in three-and-a-half-months there were over 500 sports events held globally – and Two Circles projections show the number of events won’t drop below the 500 threshold again this year assuming global Covid-19 infection rates are kept under control, avoiding the return of lockdowns similar to those experienced in March and April.

2020 Global Sports Calendar (Number of Weekly Events)

Europe has been at the forefront of world sport’s return to ‘normality’. Germany’s Bundesliga was the first major football league to return to live action on May 16 ahead of Portugal’s Primeira Liga football on June 3. Post-Covid-19, the number of weekly sports events in Europe peaked at 272 in the week June 29-July 5.

However, in North America, the return of live sport has been far more staggered. This is due, primarily, to the United States’ struggle to keep Covid-19 under control nationally; the US has both the highest number of Covid-19 cases and deaths in the world, and despite new cases having plateaued at around 20,000 a day in May, the number began rising again in June and still exceeds 40,000 per day.

Across Asia-Pacific, the number of weekly events started falling from the week commencing February 24, much earlier than in other continents, due to China being the epicentre of the Covid-19 outbreak. However, since the week commencing June 22, the number of weekly events have exceeded the pre-Covid-19 peak of 137.

Previous Sports Event Tracker updates:
July 13: Sport’s return in North America defies growing US Covid cases
July 6: Japan to welcome fans from Friday following staggered sporting return
June 29: German sport weathers Covid storm with Bundesliga completions
June 22: Sport returns to China after five-month hiatus
June 15: Football and Royal Ascot put UK sport on road to normality
June 8: Football return boosts Portugal’s Covid-19 recovery
June 1: Germany leading European race to sporting normality