Pandemic Insurance Bailed Out Wimbledon; Could It Have Done the Same for MLB?

John Hickey

One thing that the current negotiations between owners and players over the near-term future of Major League Baseball is that there is no shortage of lawyers and business MBAs in the room.

Those movers and shakers for MLB are supposed to look out for the best interests of the sport. Or at least you would have to think that’s why they’re there.

We bring this up because the current wrangling over money – money the owners say they are losing and the money the players believe they are entitled to – in an era of COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic could be much different with a more forward approach to disaster planning.

There will be no tennis at Wimbledon this year, but loss of revenue isn’t hurting the grandest of tennis’ Grand Slam events. That’s because Wimbledon’s movers and shakers had the foresight to spend around $1.9 million per year in pandemic insurance following the SARS outbreak in 2003.

According to a recent bulletin put out by GlobalData, the London-based platform that provides data analytics and analysis about the world's largest industries, Wimbledon shelled out about $32 million over the last 17 years. The payoff came this year with a check to Wimbledon for about $142 million.

The Wimbledon fortnight had revenues of $336 million in 2018, so it’s not on the level of MLB, which had revenues last year of about $10.7 billion. Then again, Wimbledon only lasts two weeks. And the pandemic insurance didn’t cover all of Wimbledon’s revenue losses for this year’s tournament.

But that $142 million blunted the blow, and MLB could use some of that kind of blunting right now.

MLB is talking about a 50-game 2020 season unless players agree to further pay cuts. The players are talking about a 114-game season, which would mean substantially larger paychecks.

If MLB had followed the Wimbledon lead, there could be much more flexibility about money, which would leave more time to focus on the real issue – keeping players and staff, stadium personnel and, eventually, fans healthy.

That’s important if, for no other reason, than the optics of making this all about money doesn’t play well with 20 percent of Americans having lost employment and seemingly that many in the streets day and night after the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

The negotiations over health and safety should be front and center. They are in social distancing households across the country. And baseball should be on that bandwagon. A little foresight might have helped.

Follow Athletics insider John Hickey on Twitter: @JHickey3

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Comments (4)
No. 1-4

Each specie has it's own blockers. More than that each individual of said specie has blockers.
This isn't a lifeless no blockade, each individual life form has innumerable immune functions that kill invading pathogens at the rate of billions a day.
See gut bacteria.


Frankly a virus cannot live unless it has a host.
It cannot just find a host!
It, virus is like a locksmith. The DNA is the lock.
Viruses CANNOT jump from specie to specie.
Absurd. There is no knowledge.
It takes trillions of attacks on even one specie DNA over thousands of years. Corona has been around for a long time.
Yet, suddenly we wear masks.


Viruses don't jump from species to species. It is frankly not possible . It takes millions of mutations to even establish itself in ONE species, as say the Pangouin.
It can not happen. Not that fast naturally.
It would in natural state take thousands of years in the wild to aquire the cellular knowledge to jump species.
This is a fact.


No. The MLB act of God was never allowed to be put in contract.
The provision was for the happenstance of war. Namely, WW II.
That is the last. It literally reads as a G.I.bill. But what of it?
Would a virus ALWAYS be an act of fortune? Per chance, if one side could question whether said virus was not random at all?
So if the NIH gave $ to a Chinese germ factory that was in Wuhan?
Level 4 bat virus study. Level 4 (highest) virus factory that was 4 blocks street from the outbreak ?
Act of.......