Economic Impact of COVID-19 on Sports

Willis Gaer

Dr. Joel Comier Associate Professor of Exercise and Sports Science

In March of 2020, the coronavirus became a worldwide pandemic and caused the world of sports to come to an abrupt halt. The purpose of this study was to examine and identify the economic impacts the COVID-19 pandemic would have on the world of sports as well as the industries closely tied to professional and collegiate sports. The impact on areas such as changes to fan behavior as a result of the pandemic, losses from fans not being in attendance, the cancellation or postponement of games or seasons, increased covid related costs, and decreased economic activity as a result of the previous topics listed were key areas under this study. As a result of the research on this topic, new ways for people to watch sports from the safety of their own homes were discovered. Additionally, the NCAA and collegiate athletic programs took a massive hit due to the cancellation of the 2020 Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament and some universities had to take drastic measures in order to put themselves in an appropriate financial situation. Professional sports also experienced large losses, especially within the leagues heavily reliant on ticket sales as a revenue source, like the MLB and NHL. The financial toll the COVID-19 pandemic had on the world of sports is just beginning to be realized and further changes must be made in the future in order for sports to thrive again.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 2021


Joel Cormier

Mentor Department Affiliation

Exercise and Sport Science

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level




Department Name when Degree Awarded

Accounting, Finance, and Information Systems