Study author Seth Wynes, a postdoctoral researcher in geography at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada explains that lower emissions at the start of the pandemic in spring of 2020 is proof that  sports teams can mitigate their emissions. Short, cramped sports seasons could be the culprit of higher emissions. For example,  Major League Baseball plays more than 100 games for a little over 7-month long season each year, compared to the National Basketball Association (NBA)’s 6-month season and the National Hockey League (NHL)’s about 6-month season.

“[The emissions were] about half as large,” Wynes says, “and that really comes down to this policy of when a team shows up in the city to play a game. They’re not immediately flying out after that game.”

Baseball teams often stay in an area and play several games in that same city before moving on versus going from sporting arena to sporting arena after a game or two.