Coronavrius fears keep fans away

Pro sports leagues will broadcast regularly scheduled games played in empty stadiums and arenas in response to growing coronavirus threat.

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Sports

March 3, 2020 - 11:04 AM

What if they played a game and nobody came?

Pro sports leagues in places as far-flung as Italy and South Korea are about to find out. With government approval, both Serie A soccer and the Korean Basketball League are opting to broadcast regularly scheduled games played in empty stadiums and arenas rather than postponing or canceling them — and the list of events is expanding — in response to the growing coronavirus threat.

The length of the experiment hinges on the progress of the virus. But if it’s a success, both in terms of public safety and the leagues’ bottom lines, it’s not hard to imagine the first made-for-television-only Summer Olympics, with normally bustling Tokyo less a backdrop than a sound stage.

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