Coronavirus Pandemic Shaking Up The Sports World
ONE Championship has decided to do turn all their events into “closed-door, audience-free events effective immediately.” Founder and CEO, Chatri Sityodtong made the announcement Thursday morning on social media.
The news came after the NBA and other sporting events announced cancelations or closed door events. Sityodtong also said in his announcement that, “Our global broadcast shows behind closed doors will commence in Singapore with an initial schedule of April 17, April 24, May 1, and May 8 respectively.” Sityodtong also said events with live audiences have been suspended, “until at least May 29, 2020, due to the extraordinary COVID-19 global situation.”
ONE is not the only promotion in combat sports taking precautions as Combate Americas has also announced plans for featuring events from a closed set television studio, as well as a plan to reschedule its next three, previously announced shows amidst the Coronavirus outbreak. A statement from Combate Americas CEO Campbell McLaren said in a press release, “We put the health and safety of our athletes, fans, and staff above all other considerations. Combate Americas’ mission is to bring together people throughout the U.S., Mexico, South America and Spain, and that requires frequent travel to an array of locations, both foreign and domestic.”
Sityodtong has been proactive since February about taking precautions when he announced converting the “King of the Jungle” event into a closed event broadcast. In his Thursday announcement, he added, “We are operating in truly extraordinary times, but my team and I remain committed to providing you the best sports and entertainment action available anywhere on global broadcast today.”
While the positive outlook for event planning is proactive, travel restrictions for fighters could make it hard to make the changes to adjust to what the World Health Organization has already called a global pandemic.