With the continuous rise of the death toll due to the Coronavirus pandemic, safety has become the primary concern of all industries, institutions, and associations.
The sporting industry is not excluded; in fact, new measures are being taken every day to ensure that athletes and fans are well protected from contracting and spreading the virus. Players and other officials are tested before every event and bio-bubbles have been created to ensure that strict containment zones are created.
In this article, we are going to look at the effects of the pandemic on sporting events across the world. Specifically, we are going to discuss the fallouts in the highly exciting and entertaining sport of horse racing.
How the Pandemic has changed Global Sporting Events?
As necessary and beneficial as restrictions are, it also has some adverse effects on profit margins, fan participation, and the usual sporting fundamentals. The dynamics of watching sporting events on streaming platforms and seeing empty stands on our screen has happened because of the pandemic.
The sporting world is adopting itself in different ways. The use of digital platforms, tech advancements, and internet connectivity has meant that fans can still enjoy some of the benefits of at least watching the games.
Intermingling with fans, before, during, or after sporting events has been banned. In fact, players are not even allowed to hold media sessions. The same takes place over video conferencing from a safe physical distance.
If any untoward incidents are reported, including players or support staff testing positive, the event is postponed, delayed, or in worst cases called off. Millions of dollars of losses have been suffered because of last-minute cancellations.
How the World of Horse Racing has suffered because of the Coronavirus Pandemic
Like the rest, the horseracing sector is bound to face some changes too in the upcoming years and perhaps, even a few years to come. If you are a lover of the horse racing scene, these are a few things to expect this upcoming year.
We spoke to leading names in the world of horse racing, including media personnel that cover the significant races in a calendar year. The following four points clearly enumerate how the world of horse racing is likely to change because of the effects of the pandemic
1- An increase in online sports betting
Since the races would be organized in a way that requires fewer people on-site, this means more online presence. Fans will watch races such as Cheltenham Festival in 2021 and The Grand National on an online platform and make their bets through digital platforms also.
Although most betters aren’t exactly fans, they don’t necessarily need to watch the games to gain betting motivation. Either way, online betting is likely to increase drastically. This is because physical betting at the venues is not going to take place as it used to.
2- A change in the setting
According to the British health authorities, medical experts, and other sources, horse racing events will resume in 2021. However, changes will be made to the settings. This includes no more open-air or outdoor seating. Instead, indoor or closed-door arrangements have been made.
This new set is designed to reduce the number of people at each racing event and also monitor and maintain social distancing. There may even be very few or no spectators at all. The few people in attendance will include mainly the jockeys, the media, and a medical team, etc.
Wearing face masks during the races will, of course, be compulsory. What’s more, there will be few or no food and beverage sales, since there’ll also be very few spectators. Also, the restriction on travel will drastically reduce the number of hotel reservations leaving the surrounding hotels scarcely occupied.
3- Live streams
The fact that fans may not get to watch their games from the racecourses does not mean they wouldn’t get to watch it at all. Thanks to the internet and live broadcasts, fans, and bettors will get to watch the races live from the comfort and safety of their homes.
Fortunately, horse racing sponsors will still reach a wider range of people through online advertising during the live streams. Yes, the experience of watching a live race and records being broken in the midst of all the shouting and shrieking cannot be replicated in front of a television or computer screen.
Nevertheless, something is better than nothing and that seems to be the mantra for almost all sporting events taking place with the pandemic being consistently in the backdrop.
4- Reduced amounts in prize money
With no punters, fans, and spectators, the racecourse revenue is bound to suffer for a while. Prize money for the winners will likely drop because of this. What’s more, the cost of racing will also be very discouraging.
All these rapidly changing factors will eventually affect the fixtures. Unfortunately, media rights will also be affected due to a drop in heavy betting. While the reduced prize money on offer is something that is debatable, there is no question that the physical collection of revenues will be hit.
However, this does not mean that newer channels of generating revenues will not emerge. It is up to the organizers to ensure that all the sportsmen and support staff and paid for all the risks and protocols they are willing to take to participate in the event.
The Final Word
If you are a sports fan, these are troubling times to be living in. You do not know whether you should be happy that you are at least being able to see the game on your screen or be sad about not being able to be present in the stadium to support your favorite team. At the end of the day, the entire world, including the sporting fraternity is praying that the pandemic comes to an end.