Live sports are slowly starting to return with a few events on the TV schedule for this weekend, May 16-17. American sports fans will be looking to Germany with the relaunch of Bundesliga for potential hope that team sports in the United States could return soon.
NASCAR becomes the first major American sport to host an event since COVID-19 halted things in March. PGA stars Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy are taking part in a charity golf event called Driving Relief on Sunday, May 17 at 2 p.m. on NBC. The NASCAR schedule also resumes on Sunday in Darlington as The Real Heroes 400 gets the green flag at 3:30 p.m. Eastern on Fox.
American Soccer Players Headline Bundesliga Matches
There is a direct tie-in for American soccer fans thinking of watching the Bundesliga matches this weekend. As U.S. Soccer looks ahead to the 2022 World Cup, several of the likely USMNT players take center stage in upcoming Bundesliga games. The marquee matchup of the weekend is Borussia Dortmund taking on Schalke.
Weston McKennie is a major bright spot for the future of the USMNT and leads Schalke against 17-year-old Gio Reyna’s Borussia Dortmund. McKinnie turned down a homegrown contract with the MLS’ FC Dallas in favor of playing in Germany.
“I made the right decision and I don’t regret it at all,” McKennie told Bundesliga.com. “It wasn’t easy for me to let go of FC Dallas. But you’ve got to think, will I look back in 10 years and wish I could’ve gone over to Europe? I feel like if you can make it there, you can come back over here and play at a high level. But if as a kid you go into MLS and then try to come over to Europe, you might not be ready.”
NBA, MLB & NFL Officials Are Sure to Be Watching Sports This Weekend
From Bundesliga to NASCAR, officials from other major American sports leagues are sure to be watching how this weekend unfolds. After a brief sense of pessimism, the chances of the NBA resuming for the playoffs appears to be rising with superstars like LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo pledging their support for resuming basketball games.
The MLB appears stuck in a labor dispute between owners and players on how to divide their ever-shrinking revenue with no fans allowed in ballparks for the foreseeable future. The NFL is not slated to start the 2020 season until September, but training camps are just around the corner in July.
All of these leagues will be watching how the PGA and NASCAR handles hosting events. Both sports are more naturally built for social distancing. Golf is already an isolated sport with golfers largely only interacting with their caddies during tournaments. NASCAR features drivers inside cars with their pit crews taking on the brunt of the risk as the coronavirus continues to spread.
Leagues like the NBA and NFL face more significant challenges given the direct contact of the sport. Regardless, commissioners across sports leagues are hoping NASCAR and PGA can help lay a bit of a blueprint for the reopening of sports in America.
Here is a look at this weekend’s sports television schedule.
Bundesliga TV Schedule: Saturday, May 16
|Sat., May 16||Bor. Dortmund vs. Schalke||9:30 a.m. FS1|
|Sat., May 16||RB Leipzig vs. Freiburg||9:30 a.m. FS2|
|Sat., May 16||Augsburg vs. Wolfsburg||9:30 a.m. FoxSoccerPlus|
|Sat., May 16||Dusseldorf vs. Paderborn||9:30 a.m. FoxSoccerMatch|
|Sat., May 16||Hoffenheim vs. Her. Berlin||9:30 a.m. FoxSoccerMatch|
|Sat., May 16||Frankfurt vs. Borussia Mon||12:30 p.m. FS1|
Bundesliga TV Schedule: Sunday, May 17
|Sun., May 17||Cologne vs. Mainz||9:30 a.m. FS1|
|Sun., May 17||Union Berlin vs. Bayern||12 p.m. FS1|
NASCAR & PGA Schedule for Sunday, May 18
|Sun., May 17||PGA Driving Relief||2 p.m. NBC|
|Sun., May 17||NASCAR Real Heroes 400||3:30 p.m. Fox|