The sporting shutdown continues amid the coronavirus pandemic, forcing worldwide pay cuts, layoffs, and even bankruptcies across the industry. But there could be some light at the end of the sports tunnel.
New Zealand's early measures are looking like it's starting to payoff, which is good news for domestic sport, while some Australian codes seem to be doing all they can to get back on the field.
Thanks to some of the more innovative and, in some cases, dodgy sporting administrators out there, we could have a few sports back up and running as early as next weekend.
Here's a list of sports, their efforts to play on and possible return dates, which of course are still subject to the ever-changing environment.
UFC – April 19
Let's start with UFC boss Dana White, who has come up with the most bonkers idea to stage events so far.
As America and the world still struggles to cope with the pandemic, White has continued to insist on resuming UFC operations to the point that he's even secured a private island to host events. A private island. To host fights. During a pandemic. The UFC has become real life Mortal Kombat.
White told ESPN he secured a location in the U.S. to host UFC 249 on April 19 (that's next weekend!) and says he's also secured a private island to host future international fights. As to how it will work with travel restrictions and fighter welfare, well, he's been a bit light on details around that.
"So this place where this fight is going to be on April 18 (April 19 NZT) I have locked up for two months, so I'm going to continue to pump fights out," he said. "I also secured an island. I've got an island. The infrastructure is being built right now. We're going to do all of our international fights on this island."
Fans won't be getting the UFC 249 fight they wanted, however. The main event for UFC 249 is now an interim title fight between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje, after lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov was forced to pull out of the fight while he's stuck in lockdown in Russia.
NRL – May 21?
As for the NRL, they've also been (let's call it) creative when it comes to their plans to resume play.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the Australian Rugby League Commission is set to sign off on a surprise NRL return date of May 21.
The NRL has reportedly been given assurances from the attorney-general that it will be allowed to train and play games, while the Warriors have also been given the green light from the New Zealand and Australian governments to travel across the Tasman to join the league.
However, some of the proposed conditions that NRL players and staff will have to endure in order to resume the season have come under the microscope after another report from the Sydney news outlet.
According to the report, players are facing the prospect of "prison-like" treatment, where they'll be forced into a 14-day "solitary confinement programme" as part of strict biosecurity measures.
Players will be stuck in their hotel rooms with exercise equipment and food being delivered to their doors, and after 14 days, will only be allowed to train and exercise in a blocked-off area.
They will also reportedly not be allowed visits from families during their time in the "bubble", which could last up to four months.
The NRL is currently having discussions with the Rugby League Players Association about the proposal.
AFL – May 31?
The AFL are sticking to their return date target of May 31 despite the NRL's plans to rush back to the field, according to the Herald Sun.
The AFL will inform clubs at the end of the month of any progress in regards to its plans for the competition, but according to foxfooty.com.au reporter Tom Morris, insiders believe August is the most likely return date.
Rugby – June?
There will be no private islands or prison camps for Kiwi rugby players. And no concrete return date yet either, with the level 4 lockdown period still up in the air at the moment.
However, thanks to New Zealand's early measures, we could be one of the first countries to start opening domestic sport again – and that's great news for rugby.
NZ Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson has already floated ideas for a potential North vs South State of Origin style clash, while the prospect of a Mitre 10 Cup season featuring the best players in the country in the near-ish future now sounds incredibly exciting.
Like most domestic sports in New Zealand, it's a wait and see for now.
An Australian only Super Rugby competition, on the other hand, could return in some form in June, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. But Sanzaar is reluctant to put a concrete date on it.
Meanwhile, French rugby boss Bernard Laporte has indicated his desire for a future world club championship, which would include six Super Rugby teams. However, that's not likely to happen any time soon.
MLB – May?
The MLB and its players association are focused on getting their season started as early as May, and it has the support of high-ranking federal public health officials, reports ESPN.
The plan would see all 30 teams play in the Phoenix area, where players and staff would be housed in local hotels and only travel to and from stadiums.
The proposal, which is still in its early stages, would adhere to strict isolation and social distancing and is reportedly supported by federal officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health.
It would make the MLB the first professional sport in America to return.
Golf - June 20?
The British Open was recently cancelled for the first time since 1945, while the rest of golf's schedule has been pushed back for the time being.
The earliest tournament with a set date in golf is the LPGA Tour's NW Arkansas Championship scheduled for June 20. The earliest date in the PGA Tour is now the PGA Championship on August 7.
However, golf administrators have emphasised that any plans are subject to change and advice from health officials.
NFL – September (according to Trump)
In a conference call with the country's major sports commissioners this week, President Donald Trump said he believes the NFL season should start on time in September, ESPN reports.
Trump also believes all fans should be back in stadiums and arenas by August and September: "I want fans back in the arenas … as soon as we can."
Trump also said he wanted churches packed on Easter, so yeah, who knows.
Meanwhile, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed a "fully virtual" NFL Draft will take place on schedule on April 24-27.
Belarusian Premier League – it's still going and never stopped!
The last football league in Europe standing began early last month and has earned a host of new foreign football-starved fans and a bunch of new broadcast deals.
The reason why most sporting leagues in Belarus are still continuing is because of Belarus' wacky President Alexander Lukashenko, who has downplayed the pandemic and the need for social distancing.
He has called the virus a "psychosis" that can be fought with vodka, saunas and driving tractors. He still continues to play ice hockey and embrace fellow players.
"It's better to die standing than to live on your knees," he told local television after a hockey game. "There are no viruses here (at the rink) ... I don't see them."
Belarus has not closed its borders, introduced lockdown measures or asked people to follow social distancing guidelines. Today it passed 1,000 cases of the virus with 13 deaths.
Most other sports – no return date
Sports continue to be postponed or cancelled around the world.
Tennis' Wimbledon was cancelled for the first time since World War Two. Tennis administrators are predicting that the sport may not return at all this year.
After previously targeting an April 30 return, the English Premier League announced that it had to suspend games indefinitely.
Most sports around the world are rightly taking a safety first approach, despite the enormous financial pressures of the sporting shutdown. The best thing we can do right now to get sports back is to stay home!
In the meantime, esports is now officially a sport in New Zealand – the only country in the world to officially recognise a national body for esports. Plus, both F1 and Supercars are doing virtual esports races with their drivers. So there's that at least.
Otherwise, there's always sports compilations on YouTube.