BANGOR, Maine — It's been more than 100 days since the last professional team sports game was played in America.100 days filled with uncertainty, confusion, anger, and no sports on TV.
As the coronavirus spread across the country and here in Maine, one of the last things on people's minds was, "when will sports be back?"
But as states across America began reopening business, stores, gyms, and parks, sports fans stopped watching reruns of classic games, turned off their Xbox and PS4's, and began eagerly awaiting the announcement of the return of professional sports.
This Sunday, the afternoon of June 21, the PGA Tour is in the middle of the final round of the RBC Heritage Tournament. Its second event held in these modern 'COVID' times.
After a little more than a two-month pause to its season, NASCAR drivers have already competed in eight races, or, 3900 laps. The Geico 500 begins later Sunday afternoon for the ninth race after the coronavirus shut down.
The UFC has hosted multiple fights and ESPN broadcasted its first boxing event last week.
While these individual sports and team sports in countries like England, Germany, and South Korea are competing without fans it begs the question, when will US Team Sports resume this year?
A better question may be, 'will they?"
The National Women's Soccer League announced a 25-game Challenge Cup which is set to begin June 27 with a matchup featuring the North Carolina Courage and Portland Thorns FC.
The tournament ends on July 26.
The first game of the tournament will be the first professional team sports game played on U.S. soil since March. With the NWSL and other leagues closing in on their return date, is the threat of the coronavirus crashing the party real?
On June 18, the NWSL announced a player on one of its teams tested positive for COVID-19 but it will not impact the start of the tournament.
The NHL announced its reopening plan, which ultimately ended the regular season and announced it will use hub cities for conference playoffs.
Earlier this month teams were allowed to meet for voluntary practices which brought more coronavirus concerns.
200 players were subject to mandatory testing, 11 tested positive, the league announced. Team training camps are slated to begin July 10 while the announcement of the hub cities has yet to be made.
The NBA announced its return to play plan, sending all remaining teams to Orlando to establish a "bubble" for players, coaches, and staff. Games would be played at the ESPN Disney complex. The 22 remaining teams could report to Florida as early as July 7.
But having hundreds of players and personal at one facility is causing a lot of issues for the league and the players.
The league is expecting some players to test positive for COVID-19 but that won't force the NBA to suspended or cancel the restart plan.
The bigger issue for the league involves the Black Lives Matter movement that has sparked protests all across the country after the video of a Minneapolis Police Officer holding his knee on the neck of George Floyd resulted in his death.
According to ESPN, former Celtic and current Laker Avery Bradley is among the group that is hesitant to return to play until the league, ownership, and sponsors detail a plan on issues important to the black community.
Some players don't want to take the attention off the BLM protests while others, like Houston Rocket Guard Austin Rivers, said they can use their platform and money made from the season to support the cause.
According to the NBA's restart plan, all players can arrive at their team's home city on June 22, and head coaches can begin voluntary practices on June 23. June 23 is also when the mandatory testing process will begin.
The WNBA is planning something similar. All 12 teams would play out of IMG Academy in a 22-game regular season and traditional playoff format. The league announced it plans for a mid-July start to the season.
When the NHL and NBA report to training camps and players are tested more regularly, the leagues will begin to know if their return to play plan will be able to go on as scheduled.
Major League Baseball is a different story. For starters, the league didn't get to begin its season so league owners and players aren't negotiating terms to finish a season, they're trying to start one.
For weeks, the MLB and the MLB Players Association have gone back and forth with shortened season proposals, prorated salary negotiations, and decisions on where to host games.
League commissioner Rob Manfred guaranteed a 2020 MLB season and that guarantee isn't looking too great as the league hasn't been a 'team' player during negotiations.
The most recent proposal was made June 17 to the players, a 60-game prorated season. The Players Association responded asking for a 70-game season to which the MLB responded on June 19 with a hard, no.
While the NWSL, NBA, and NHL are trying to iron out travel, testing, and facility details, the MLB can't even decide on the number of games the 2020 season will be.
If all goes according to plan, we are just a week away from the NWSL's return, the first time a professional team sport will be played in the United States in more than three months.
The NBA and NHL would resume play shortly after in late-July with playoffs ending in the fall.