COVID-19 brought sports to a standstill in the United States, including Major League Baseball spring training, an annual rite of spring. On March 12, Commissioner Rob Manfred cancelled the exhibition season in Florida and Arizona. That posed a challenge for GW students in Professor Mark Hyman’s “Business of Spring Training – Arizona” course.
On March 15, 18 students, most in the Master of Sport Management program, had been set to begin a week of site visits and interviews throughout the Cactus League. The trip to Arizona never happened. Instead, the class pivoted to a “Business of Spring Training Oral History Project.” Student teams researched and then virtually interviewed nine baseball industry and Arizona government officials to learn how the pandemic had touched their work and personal lives.