March 23: COVID-19 Coverage From Across the Industry

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As the athletics, fitness and recreation industries take up the challenge of responding to the COVID-19 crisis, we at AB Today want to offer our readers an occasional snapshot of coverage from across the internet. Below you’ll find stories we’ve come across that we hope you might find interesting and some that may help inform your decision-making process as you navigate the current environment.

— Governor Gretchen Whitmer (@GovWhitmer) March 19, 2020

Hard Rock Stadium Becomes COVID-19 Testing Center 

In the beginning of February, Hard Rock Stadium was the site of Super Bowl LIV. More than 62,000 fans packed the stadium on Feb. 2, 2020 to see the Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers. Now, about a month and a half later, there will be cars waiting to get into the parking lot, but for a different reason. Beginning Monday, Hard Rock Stadium will become a drive-through COVID-19 testing site.

Webinar: Coronavirus Update for the Sports & Fitness Industry

The coronavirus is disrupting every aspect of our society, economy, and community. The sports and fitness industry is being affected in multiple ways, from employee work places, to supply chain, to changes in sports and fitness participation. SFIA, led by its Board of Directors, is tracking this complicated and fast changing situation, with a goal to provide the most concise, timely and relevant information that our members might find valuable in making real time decisions. Join SFIA’s CEO & President, Tom Cove, to learn latest developments, available resources and best practice examples. We strongly encourage you to contact us in advance if you have specific questions, and we will try to address them in this webinar.

These Fitness Companies are Offering Free Online Workouts During Quarantine 

As millions of Americans now sit at home, sequestering themselves to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, streaming, as well as brick-and-mortar, fitness companies are trying to keep them moving. Gyms large and small, boutique and bargain, have closed their doors, leaving millions of patrons without their usual sweat destinations at a time when fitness spending was rising. CNBC

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) released the following statement urging policymakers to not leave independent contractors, sole proprietors and small family businesses behind: 

American Council On Exercise commends the U.S. Congress and state legislatures for the recent rapid exploration of legislative relief for small businesses and their employees who are either affected by the COVID-19 pandemic or are likely to be. We are encouraged by the bipartisan commitment to this cause. At the same time, ACE urges policymakers, as relief legislation options are considered, to take great care to avoid leaving independent contractors and self-employed people behind. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are tens of millions of small businesses in the U.S. that are self-employed individuals. Many of them are exercise professionals and health coaches who are certified by ACE, hardworking people whose livelihoods are being severely disrupted as public health authorities urge or require their businesses to shutter and Americans to shelter in place. These self-employed individuals are as essential to local economies as other types of small businesses and must be considered as well-intentioned legislators hunt for needed relief solutions. ACE urges policymakers to explore the full array of mechanisms and vehicles available to state and federal governments to minimize the impact on all working adults, not just some. Those include business-interruption loans as well as expanded unemployment benefits and earned sick-leave.   

Canadian Athletes Will Not Compete at Tokyo 2020 Games Due to Coronavirus Risks 

The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) say they won't send athletes to compete at the Tokyo Games — set to begin July 24 — if they proceed as scheduled. CBC

How Would Texas Athletics Weather an Economic Downturn?

It’s still unknown what kind of financial damage the COVID-19 pandemic will do to major companies nationally. UT athletics is a $220 million operation that relies heavily on fan donations, season tickets and merchandise sales. It also spends more than $200 million annually, too. Austin American-Statesman

Life Fitness Offers Free At-Home Workouts for Clubs & Exercisers

As many health clubs close their facilities amid the coronavirus outbreak, Life Fitness is launching free daily on-demand workouts through its Digital Coach platform to challenge and motivate exercisers until they can get back into the gym. Athletic Business


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