Sports league travel | Nature Climate Change

Sports leagues in North America generate massive emissions because they rely heavily on long-distance air travel throughout the season. Virtual solutions, adopted by many other sectors, are not feasible since players must be present for the game. However, the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has unintentionally provided a chance for sports leagues to optimize the schedule and reduce emissions.

Seth Wynes of Concordia University, Canada, estimates that in the pre-pandemic 2018 season, teams from four major sports leagues of North America travelled 7.5 million kilometres and emitted 121,841 tonnes of carbon dioxide. The National Basketball Association (NBA) generates the highest emissions, as they