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Buffalo, NY | Local News, Weather, Traffic, Sports | WGRZ.com

The return of sports during COVID-19

The MLB is allowing fans, Erie County has a plan to bring 100 percent of fans back to Highmark Stadium, and the Olympics are only 100 days away.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — From the MLB allowing some fans into ballparks, to Erie County's plan for 100 percent of Bills and Sabres fans to return to games if vaccinated, it seems as though we're getting some normalcy we all so desperately would love to have back.

"I think it's going to feel amazing honestly," said Shira Gabriel, an associate professor of psychology at the University at Buffalo.

Gabriel says no matter the sporting event, it provides something humans need. 

"We feel the most comfortable, and the happiest, and the most secure in our lives when we feel connected to people, to big groups of other people," Gabriel said.

That will even include this July, when the Tokyo Olympics get underway. 

Buffalo native and three-time Olympic bobsledder Steve Mesler says that even though no fans will be there, the world will be watching in unison. 

"I can't wait to watch this summer, just to watch the world come together again," Mesler said. "The return of sports is what so many of us need, and will at least help us finish off the last bits of the pandemic. It's not over yet, but I'm optimistic the Olympics can be a real turning point." 

It will also offer the chance for Buffalo to show some love to the Western New York athletes who made it to the world's stage. 

"We feel really proud and we feel really excited and that's something that brings us closer to other people from our country and people from all over who may be very different from us than other ways. That's something we really need in America right now," Gabriel said.