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I take the taxi to my workplace in Newark, and when the driver drives by Prudential Center, it looks like a moat more than an arena.
The area around the hockey arena which houses the Devils feels like a morgue.

Bars surrounding the arena shut down as a result of no hockey games or events at the arena as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Restaurants and retail stores struggle to operate. All of this serves as a byproduct of no fans this season.

Watching the games looked depressing without fans. The games missed the element of fans providing energy. Sports in a bubble appeared out of place. In other words, it wasn’t the same.

Leagues managed to get by this year, but the powers-to-be for their respective league know it won’t be working forever. Teams rely on fans to make money to pay the bills, refurbish arenas or stadiums and use revenue on players. Players make money through fans. Teams lose money without fans as we saw this year with the MLB, NHL. MLS and WNBA.


Photo: Brad Penner/USA Today Sports

Owners know they need fans in the building starting next year.

It’s easy for me to say we need fans, but that’s easier said than done. Many questions need to be answered before we bring fans back to the game.

Here’s one no one wants to talk about: What if there is no vaccine which would mean coronavirus extends all the way to next year? It’s a scary reality.


It sounds more like hope than a plan about a vaccine coming. No one knows if there is a vaccine that will work. Hope is not a plan. Right now, everyone is guessing rather than come up with one. I will believe it when I see it.

I come to accept the coronavirus is here to stay forever. It’s unrealistic to think there is a vaccine that is going to solve this. I mean we haven’t had a cure for cancer and AIDS, so to think we may have a cure for coronavirus is being hopeful at best. That’s like praying there is no snowstorm. Teams will have to improvise. This means getting fans at a small capacity through social distancing as we saw in the NL Championship Series and World Series. It’s better than nothing at this point.


Citi Field could use people in the building. The stadium lacked ambiance without them. The players often fell flat at games, which is why the Mets struggled at home this past season. It sure didn’t feel like a ballgame from watching it on television.

I for one want to go to Citi Field. With the Mets being owned by prospective owner Steve Cohen, the timing is right for fans like myself to go see the team and come back to Citi Field. I enjoy the stadium, but I stopped going after the Wilpons ruined the game experience by fielding bad teams and not doing enough to make the stadium a good fan experience.

Cohen plans to make it better as one of many priorities he has as a Mets owner.

He may have plenty of money, but he also needs fans to fill his stadium for him to keep making money. The same can be said to his fellow 29 owners in Major League Baseball.

Of course, Cohen needs permission from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio to get fans in the seats. It won’t be easy since both government officials are being prudent in making sure they do this right in the health interest of the people. They haven’t told teams to bring fans back to their arenas, and it’s doubtful they will do this until we have a vaccine.


There are no easy answers. Coronavirus changes the way we live since it started, and there are no signs that it will let up anytime soon. Odds are we will have a spike around the country during the winter with the weather being cold.

This means we may have more deaths, especially with people around the country not wearing masks and social distancing.


If this happens, it’s hard to see fans coming back anytime soon if not ever. Teams can rely on a bubble and no fans in the stands for so long. At some point, there has to be a resolution about fans finding a way to come.
If not, not only we will have no baseball, but forget about sports altogether next season.

Featured Image: Brad Penner/USA Today Sports
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