Pandemic costing youth sports millions, creating uncertainty


The fields and facilities at Grand Park in Westfield, Ind., Tuesday, April 7, 2020, are closed due to the coronavirus outbreak. Westfield officials estimate the area could lose $85 million in direct spending if Grand Park stays closed through June. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

DALLAS (AP) — Youth sports leagues are bracing for even bigger financial losses with no end in sight for the shutdown of activity because of the new coronavirus outbreak.

Youth sports is a $25 billion U.S. industry and it is indeed on a tightrope in many ways at the moment.

Communities with sprawling, empty fields and arenas are losing millions of dollars with lucrative tournaments canceled or postponed.

Team sports participation dipped after the 2008 recession.

So officials wonder what youth sports will look like when kids begin to return to fields and courts. 

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