PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) — After all sports were put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Thursday, July 23, 2020 marked Opening Day for Major League Baseball. Starting four months after the original Opening Day, sports fans, like Brandon Billings and Zachary Smith, said they are just excited to get to watch something on TV again.
“Even though we don’t have any here locally with our sports, we are excited about the Braves, the Nationals, Yankees. It’s good to have that back tonight, I think 7 or 8 o’clock a couple of games on TV,” Billings said.
“That is the most American sport you can have other than football. I like football more than baseball, but that’s almost the most American sport you can have, so I think it’s a good day for us all,” Smith said.
While sports are returning, the stands may look a little different. Fans are not allowed to attend any games in person. Many clubs are putting cardboard cut-outs in the stands to fill in the seats. Smith said he thinks not having fans will allow players to focus more on playing and not have any distractions.
“It’s going to give them time to focus on what they are about: basketball, football, baseball. They’re not going to be worried about people throwing stuff at them, booing them,” Smith said. “They are going to be able to listen to their coaches coaching them while they are on the field. It’s going to be all around better.”
After the COVID-19 pandemic cut high school seasons short, seniors, Laken Dye and Kailey Sarver, are hoping they will also be able to have a season since professional sports are back.
“I think that gives hope for us because once they get going, then hopefully we can follow in their lead,” Dye said.
“I really hope we do because it’s senior year and you look forward to it. I think there is always a way to do things so if there is a will there is a way,” Sarver said.