BIG3 Announces 2020 Season Canceled Due to COVID-19; Plans on 2021 Return

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 18, 2020

DALLAS, TEXAS - AUGUST 17: BIG3 founder Ice Cube stands with the BIG3 2018 Championship trophy during week nine of the BIG3 three on three basketball league at American Airlines Center on August 17, 2019 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/BIG3 via Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The BIG3 league is scrapping its 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"The BIG3 always wants to deliver the best for our fans under safe conditions," the league said Monday in a statement. "Due to a confluence of issues including safety, uncertainty of testing, changing government regulations, insurance and liability issues, sponsor and advertiser challenges of their own, and the changing nature of the virus itself, the decision was made to focus on a great return in 2021."

BIG3 on CBS @thebig3


The 2020 season was originally supposed to tip off June 20 at FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee. USA Today's Mark Medina reported May 5 the league was pushing its start back indefinitely and instead attempting to begin in the fall or winter.

Some states have relaxed coronavirus-related restrictions and stay-at-home orders, which opened the door for the return of NASCAR over the weekend. Starting May 8, the NBA also allowed teams to welcome players back to their practice facilities on a limited basis.

Resuming games without fans would have a significant impact on the revenue streams available to franchises in the traditionally big four leagues (MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL), though they may at least have their television contracts to provide some cash flow if they indeed return to action.

BIG3 is a newer league still attempting to gain a foothold, however, and thus doesn't have the kind of buffer afforded to more established organizations.

The XFL suspended operation altogether shortly after abruptly ending its 2020 season.