Ryder Cup Cancellation Isn’t The First Fall Sports Domino
Reports are out that the Ryder Cup will be canceled for 2020 and pushed back a year. The idea of ‘pushed back a year’ is a theme of 2020. The announcement hasn’t been made but the expectation is it will be today or tomorrow. Some might look to this and think this is the beginning of fall sporting events without fans or cancelations. That is not the case here. While it is very easy to connect those dots, it is much more than that. There are many layers to why Ryder Cup gets canceled versus a random September football game.
Ryder Cup is one of the best things in sports. It is seriously great. The crowds are huge, everyone is cheering on the United States, and they’re going up against Europe who is a rival for the weekend. Crowds are what makes the Ryder Cup special. So if they cannot have the crowds at the full capacity, why should they push forward? That takes away from the entire fun of the event. Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka have said similar things, and my assumption is most golfers will be pleased if it’s canceled.
The other part of the Ryder Cup cancelation that does not parallel with football is international travel. Before COVID-19, Sheboygan, Wisconsin made their airport international so people could fly in and watch the Ryder Cup. The number of people that would be headed towards Kohler, Wisconsin from all over the world would be massive. The risk associated with that is paramount. Even if COVID-19 does not show back up in Wisconsin at the same levels it once did, this is not a risk worth taking.
When do fall sports have to make a decision? Honestly, they have another month at least. They might have two. My thought was September would be fanless, and if they were able to have a vaccine in October (This would be otherworldly but it’s looking possible), they could fill up to 50%. NFL and College Football are likely working through plans right now to make those determinations. The Ryder Cup story is one to pay attention to for football, but it’s not a precedent-setting thing.
I’m already excited for the 2021 Ryder Cup.