REDMOND, Wash. - Covid-19 cases are surging in Western Washington and some businesses are pushing pause. That includes an indoor soccer league for adults in Mill Creek run by Arena Sports.
Bryan Wong, 36, and Matt Langford, 29, are friends who met playing soccer in the adult league at the Arena Sports in Mill Creek.
“Once league play resumed, we were pretty shocked by how out of shape we were,” said Langford. “We were just starting to get back in the rhythm and then things started to shut back down.”
“Arena Sports, like that Tuesday night league on that team that I’m with Matt, it’s the one thing that I have to look forward to like every single week. It’s marked on the calendar. I’m eating clean multiple nights before, like everything is built up to that Tuesday,” said Wong.
The sports facility sent an email on Sunday saying they are pushing pause on scrimmage and league play because of increasing Covid-19 cases.
Soccer is considered a moderate-risk sport and the average number of cases must be under 75 per 100,000 people in a two week period.
There are five Arena Sports locations from Seattle to Issaquah, but right now only 2,000 youth are registered for small group instruction each week.
CEO Don Crowe said it’s a huge contrast to the number of players before Covid.
“25,000 people a week are registered for programming normally. We’ll have 4 million people visit throughout the year at all five locations,” said Crowe.
State health officials said if we cannot contain the coronavirus from spreading, another shutdown is a very real possibility. Crowe said their business plan is to just make it through to the other side of this pandemic.
“It haunts you every night. You don’t get much sleep, and it’s certainly been devastating on the business. We’ve been putting everything we have into it and we’ve got fantastic staff who have been understanding,” said Crowe. “I’d hope the government would help support small businesses like this, to get through this, if they’re going to shut us down again.”
For now, scrimmage and league play is put on hold as Covid-19 cases continue to climb.
“Soccer was one of the only reasons I had to get out of the house. Between school and work I’d probably spend a solid 11 hours in front of this computer,” said Langford.
High school sports is also impacted by the number of Covid-19 cases. In counties with high Covid activity, low-risk sports such as tennis are allowed to be played. Even then, state health officials discourage playing if the school hasn’t returned to in-person learning.