Challenges associated with professional sports during the coronavirus pandemic have primarily been negated, with sporting institutions & leagues announcing regular schedules for their upcoming 2021 seasons. Major League Soccer announced on November 16th that they’ll be implementing a standard agenda but will remain vigilant of Covid-19. It means supporters will likely experience a multitude of postponed matches in 2021, which will be rescheduled & played at later dates.
Similar methods engaged after the “MLS is Back Tournament” in Spring are being approached for the 2021 season. Those protocols likely include the lack of fanfare, with Major League Soccer not confirming if supporters will return to matches by 2021. That could mean two official seasons without Americans & Canadians attending games held by MLS.
Postponement of football matches hasn’t been the only challenge for Major League Soccer. Financial disarray has stricken MLS, alongside numerous other sporting institutions across America. MLS Commission Don Garber estimated in March 2020 that $1 Billion could be lost following Covid-19. Monetary losses of that value would sustain into the next year if supporters cannot attend matches.
Disturbances in quarterly revenue could prompt anger from investors, leading analysts to believe Don Garber will work actively to resume fan attendance. It should be clarified that supporters were permitted at two matches in 2020 on March 12th, days before America & the international community entered a pandemic.
Salary & Bonus Reductions
Fans didn’t have to wait long for Major League Soccer to return, with June 2020 seeing the “MLS is Back Tournament” announced. Intense negotiations between MLS Corporate & the Players Association ensued before the competition began. After completion of the tournament, salary & bonus reductions were announced for the MLSPA. Players & Corporate are working together to ensure the long-term survival of Major League Soccer. Monetary losses will end after 2021, with a Covid-19 Vaccine slated to release by summer of next year.