The NBA suspended its season indefinitely after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday. This is a development from an earlier plan by the league to go ahead with the remaining games of the season but without spectators.
"Once you had a player that tested positive, they decided it was too risky," Kate Delaney, author and host of NBC Sports Radio, told Cheddar.
Delaney estimated that the suspension will cost the league at least $1.5 billion when you add up concessions, parking fees, tickets, sponsorships, and merchandise.
"We were a little bit more than halfway through the season, so there was money obviously made there. But so much more is lost, especially because you have the playoffs. It's a very important time for sports, and the NBA in particular," Delaney said.
The ripple effects could extend to every corner of the sports world, from Nike shoes to basketballs.
"Spalding would be affected because they supply lots and lots of balls," Delaney said. "Granted, they have contracts, but some of those contracts could be reworked."
The sick player that spurred the suspension is Rudy Gobert, according to ESPN. The Jazz-Thunder face-off in Oklahoma City was postponed Wednesday night just before the tip-off.
The league made the following announcement around 9:30 p.m.:
"The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of [Wednesday's] schedule of games until further notice,'' the statement said. "The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.''