While the entire sports industry is significantly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, the $19.2B youth sports segment in the U.S is getting hit particularly hard. Last week, Little League International was forced to cancel its world series events for the first time in the organization’s 75-year history.
To ensure that the youth sports infrastructure survives, the PLAY Sports Coalition is working to secure $8.5B from Congress through an extension of the CARES Act. The coalition is made up of more than 400 youth sports organizations and has received bipartisan congressional support. Without quick action, many of the country’s youth organizations could be driven to bankruptcy and potentially close permanently.
Following the 2008 financial crisis, participation of 6 to 12-year-olds in team sports fell from 45% to 38% in 2014, according to the New York Times. A recent Aspen Institute for Sports study suggested that 60% of youth sports organizations expect to lose at least 50% of revenue over the next year. As states begin to reopen, some are looking to start up youth sports quickly including Kansas, Idaho, and West Virginia.