Canada Day, July 1 Might Be A Target
The news out of the Canadian capital of Ottawa was not good for Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League and the National Basketball Association in terms of getting product going again. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he does not expect business to return to normal before July. That means more to the NHL than Major League Baseball and the NBA because the NHL has teams in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver while MLB and the NBA have just one franchise each in Canada that in Toronto. On March 30, the Canadian Football League announced that its member teams would not open training camp. The CFL camps were supposed to begin on May 11. The WNBA is sidelined. The NBA and NHL are in a holding pattern and trying to figure out a way to finish the 2019-2020 season and playoffs. Major League Baseball would like to start the 2020 season sometime during the summer.
The NBA and NHL probably cannot use Madison Square Garden or the Brooklyn arena until the late summer according to the New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio. According to reports, the NHL is looking around the US and Canada to see if the league can book July arena dates. There is a report that the NBA might be interested in doing something in Las Vegas. Another report has Major League Baseball starting the season with empty stands. There is a financial incentive to get the leagues going. Television fees. TV can pay bills. Cable and satellite TV subscribers are still paying for sports product despite the fact there is no new sports product. Based on past labor shutdowns, it is unlikely cable and satellite TV subscribers will get a refund for not getting fresh programming. That money is rolling into the leagues and teams. The leagues are in suspended animation.