Will We Set a Record for the Longest Stretch Without Sports?
Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: General View of the Staples Center home of the Los Angeles Lakers
The NBA suspended its season last Wednesday after Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz tested positive for the coronavirus. Following the NBA’s lead, MLB suspended spring training and the start of the regular season. The NHL also put its season on hiatus.
As a result, it has been seven days without a game being played in one of the four major sports — NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL. This is unusual as you might have guessed.
Slow days are not uncommon. None of the “Big Four” sports have games around the MLB All-Star break. Christmas Eve is notoriously void of action, with no games in any of the major sports last year.
How unusual is a break of this length?
According to the Bet Labs database, there has never been a stretch of days without at least one regular season, postseason or All-Star game being played for one week. We are in uncharted territory.
According to StatsPerform.com, these are the other longest stretches without games in NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL:
- 6 Days (1956): End of NHL season and start of MLB
- 6 Days (2001): Result of 9/11 attacks
- 23 Days (1994): Caused by MLB strike
- 58 Days (1981): MLB strike
Our current seven-day stretch without games is officially the third-longest streak since the NBA began in 1946. Unfortunately for fans and bettors, there is a chance we set a new record.
The NBA believes a best-case scenario for the league’s return is mid-to-late June. Opening Day in baseball was initially pushed back to at least mid-May, but now June start seems more realistic. After initially hoping for a return in April, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman mentioned following the CDC’s 60-day directive, which would give us a start date of mid-May.
The most likely scenario is that all the major leagues begin play in the same week. Assuming the NBA’s timeline of starting in mid-to-late June, we could approach 100 days without at least one game in the four major sports.
Let’s hope the current outbreak slows and sports leagues can get back to business as usual.