Sports Event Tracker: June 1 update

Two Circles analysts track the number of sports events taking place globally against an originally-scheduled, 2020 pre-Covid-19 sporting calendar. Only paid ticketed events for professional, competitive sports events with a projected attendance of at least 5,000 (pre-Covid-19) are considered.

Update: June 1
Time period: January 1-May 31, 2020
Originally scheduled number of events:
 21,477
Actual number of events taken place: 10,036 (46.7%)

2020 Global Sports Calendar (Number of Weekly Events)

Germany leading European race to sporting normality

On May 16, Germany’s Bundesliga became the first of Europe’s Big Five leagues to return to live action since the Covid-19 pandemic swept the world in March. And with two rounds of matches taking place last week (May 25-31) in both the top-tier and second-tier, there were nearly four times the number of scheduled events (389%) over the course of the week in Germany compared to the pre-Covid-19 calendar.

Before Bundesliga football, the only major sport to have taken place in Germany since the Covid-19 pandemic was horse racing, which returned behind-closed-doors on May 7 at Hanover.

The German government has received plaudits for its response to the Covid-19 pandemic, including imposing restrictions when the spread of virus was limited and carrying out high levels of testing.

The Bundesliga’s ‘post-Covid-19 return’ approach has been the trailblazer for football across Europe. Fans are banned from matches until further notice, while other key measures include no more than 300 people in a stadium on matchday, home players arranging their own transportation to games, each club appointing a medically-trained hygiene officer, the disinfection of balls, a centrally-organised antibody-testing mechanism and virtual press conferences.

Elsewhere, in South Korea the return of the KBO (baseball) and K-League (football) have seen the proportion of weekly major sports events exceed 100% since the week commencing May 11, while in Australia the return of the NRL (rugby league) on May 28 has seen the proportion of sports events in the country rise to 62%.

In Portugal, with the return of Primeira Liga football on Wednesday (June 3), the country will be able to watch major professional sport for the first time in nearly three months.