Partner Jon Israel, co-chair of Foley’s Sports Industry Team, was quoted in The American Lawyer article, “With Pros and Olympics Delayed, Sports Lawyers Plot Out the Long Game for Their Practices,” about how the cancellation or suspension of many professional and amateur sports due to the coronavirus pandemic will impact sports law practices.
Israel told The American Lawyer that the postponement of the summer Olympics will likely create a lot of work for sports attorneys .”What do you do with the athletes who have trained so hard?” he said. “How do you do qualifying events? Sponsors are all lined up. What happens with them?”
In addition, Israel notes that the fallout from cancellations hits not only the sports leagues and teams, but the ecosystem of venues, retailers, restaurants and bars and people that work in the arenas.
Some changes to the sporting world already in progress, such as the rising popularity of esports, might have their flames fanned by the current ban on large gatherings, a key component of sporting events.
But Israel believes that, in time, a return to sport will see fans back in the stands. “Habits will change from these circumstances,” he said. “We will probably see more of an online consumer of sports. But nothing can replicate the stadium experience. That stuff will never go away.”