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Impact of Coronavirus (Covid-19) on U.S. Sports


News related to coronavirus (Covid-19) as it impacts the sports world. This post has been updated with the latest as of March 16th

  • MLB has announced that Opening Day for the 2020 season has been pushed back at least eight weeks, in accordance with CDC guidance. May 10 will mark eight weeks from the CDC’s announcement.

  • FiveThirtyEight reports that the cost of losing one-fifth of the NBA regular season could approach a billion dollars.

  • The NFL will proceed with its Draft on April 23-25, but will cancel public events in Las Vegas, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reports.

  • MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred is having a conference call today advising all teams to shut down their facilities, and several GMs are preparing for a start as late as July, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.

On Friday, the Front Office Sports newsletter poll asked, “When do you think U.S. sports leagues will resume play?” Most of you thought it would be in a little more than a month: 0-30 days: 10.4% 30-60 days: 68.4% 60+ days: 21.1% Then on Sunday, the CDC recommended canceling events of 50 or more people for the next eight weeks, meaning May 10 at the earliest. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that NBA owners and executives are hoping for a mid-to-late June start, at best. And that the league is scouting for arena dates through August. For the record, 64% of respondents to Thursday’s poll said that if they had a ticket to a sporting event on Thursday, they would have gone.

US Professional Sports Leagues

March 16th

  • A number of teams and players have announced plans to ensure that hourly arena workers will be paid for canceled games. CBS has a comprehensive list here.

March 15th

  • The NFL Players association has approved a new collective bargaining agreement.

March 13th

  • NASCAR has decided that it will postpone this weekend’s races in Atlanta, after previously saying they would be run without fans, ESPN’s Mike Clay reports.

  • Next weekend’s events in Homestead have also been postponed, Clay said.

  • The Women’s Tennis Association has postponed the Miami Open and the Volvo Car Open in Charleston.

NBA

March 12th

  • The NBA G League has suspended its season in the early morning hours Shams Charania reports that Donovan Mitchell is the second Jazz player to test positive for coronavirus following Rudy Gobert.

  • The NBA tells teams that the league will be suspended for a minimum of 30 days, per Bruce Arthur

March 11th

  • The Warriors announce that their game against the Nets at Chase Center on March 12th will be played without fans after the city of San Francisco banned gatherings of 1,000+ for the next two weeks due to coronavirus concerns.

  • Shams Charania reports that Rudy Gobert tests positive for the coronavirus late Wednesday.

  • NBA suspends the season indefinitely.

NHL

March 12th

  • NHL suspends the season indefinitely.

March 11th

  • Pittsburgh Penguins announce that their March 14th home game against the NY Islanders will go on as scheduled in front of fans.

  • NHL releases a statement on coronavirus “The NHL is aware of the NBA’s decision tonight to indefinitely suspend its season due to a player testing positive for the coronavirus. The NHL is continuing to consult with medical experts and is evaluating the options. We expect to have a further update tomorrow.”

March 10th

  • Ohio Governor Mike DeWine recommends that indoor sporting events in the state happen without fans. Despite the recommendation, the Columbus Blue Jackets say that the games are still on and fans are welcome to attend.

MLS

March 12th

  • MLS is suspending its season immediately until further notice.

March 11th

  • The San Jose Earthquakes postpone their game on March 21st against Sporting Kansas City.

  • Seattle Sounders postpone their March 21st home match against FC Dallas.

NASCAR

March 13th

  • Next weekend’s events in Homestead have also been postponed, Clay reports.

  • This weekend’s races in Atlanta have now been postponed, per ESPN’s Mike Clay.

March 12th

  • NASCAR announces that its next two races will be held without fans in attendance.

NFL

March 16th

  • The NFL will proceed with its Draft on April 23-25, but will cancel public events in Las Vegas, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reports.

March 15th

  • The NFL Players association has approved a new collective bargaining agreement.

March 12th

  • NFL expects no delay in the start to the league year set to begin on March 18th

  • Eagles shut down their training facility, team owner Jeffrey Lurie said in a statement.

XFL

March 12th

  • The XFL is suspending play due to coronavirus concerns, according to @ProFootballTalk. The league will attempt to play at least the championship game in a few weeks, per the report.

March 11th

  • Seattle Dragons game against the Los Angeles Wildcats to be held on March 14th without fans in attendance

  • The XFL is suspending play due to coronavirus concerns, according to @ProFootballTalk. The league will attempt to play at least the championship game in a few weeks, per the report.

MLB

March 16th

  • MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred is having a conference call today advising all teams to shut down their facilities, and several GMs are preparing for a start as late as July, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.

March 12th

  • MLB has told its teams that it is suspending operations immediately.

March 11th

  • MLB’s Opening Series between the Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners to be moved from T-Mobile Park. The games were scheduled to be played from March 26-29 in Seattle.

  • The San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics exhibition game scheduled to be played on March 24th at Oracle Park is canceled.

MiLB

March 12

  • MiLB is “delaying the start” of its season. No word on for how long as of now.

AHL

March 12

  • The American Hockey League has suspended play indefinitely.

Premier League

March 12

  • All Premier League matches will go ahead as scheduled this weekend, according to the organizing body.

Other Leagues and Tournaments

March 13th

  • The NCAA will grant an extra year of eligibility to all its athletes who were participating in spring sports, according to CBS’s Jon Rothstein.

  • The Women’s Tennis Association has postponed the Miami Open and the Volvo Car Open in Charleston.

  • All of next week’s Champions and Europa League games have been postponed.

  • FIE Formula E Racing has announced that it will freeze all races for two months.

March 12th

  • The Miami Open has been canceled

  • NLL suspends the season indefinitely

  • La Liga matches have been suspended for two weeks

  • USA Hockey announced it has canceled its series of upcoming National Championships that were set to begin in various locations across the country on March 26.

  • PGA Tour bans fan attendance at events for the foreseeable future.

  • The ATP announces a six-week suspension of the men’s professional tennis tour.

March 11th

  • Overwatch League cancels all events in March & April.

College Athletics

March 10th

  • The PAC-12 has announces that its Men’s Basketball tournament is scheduled to take place as planned with increased safety measures.

  • UCLA Athletics has announced that attendance at home events will be limited to essential personnel only until at least April 10 due to the “evolving” coronavirus situation.

  • The MAC announces that its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments will closed to the general public.

  • The Big West Conference announces intention to play its men’s and women’s basketball tournament without spectators.

March 11th

  • Two Tulsa football players, who are roommates, are reportedly quarantined due to possible Coronavirus exposure.

  • First Four NCAA Tournament games in Dayton, Ohio and the first and second round tournament games scheduled for Cleveland, Ohio announced that games will be played without fans in attendance.

  • The Gazelle Group announces that the College Basketball Invitational is canceled.

  • All on-campus athletic events for the rest of the week have been canceled or postponed.

  • The Ivy League announces that it is canceling all spring athletics practice and competition through the remainder of the academic year.

  • The state of Ohio issues an order that NCAA tournament games in Ohio will be played without spectators.

  • NCAA COVID-19 advisory panel recommends against sporting events being open to the public.

  • The NCAA announces plans to proceed with March Madness without fans in attendance.

  • NCAA President Mark Emmert releases statement on limiting attendance at NCAA events: “I have made the decision to conduct our upcoming championship events, including the Division 1 men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, with only essential staff and limited family attendance.”

  • Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby says the conference will limit access to the Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments games to guests of student-athletes and staff.

March 12:

Basketball tournament cancellations:

  • Big 10 tournament canceled

  • Big East tournament canceled

  • SEC Men’s tournament canceled

  • AAC Men’s Basketball tournament canceled

  • The Pac-12 tournament has been canceled

  • The ACC tournament has been canceled

  • MAC tournament has been canceled

  • Atlantic-10 tournament has been canceled

  • Colonial Conference tournament has been canceled

  • Conference USA tournament has been canceled, all spring sport competition suspended until further notice.

  • WAC tournament has been canceled

  • Big East tournament canceled

  • SEC Men’s tournament canceled

  • AAC Men’s Basketball tournament has been canceled

  • Big Sky tournament has been canceled

  • Sun Belt tournament has been canceled

  • Big West tournament has been canceled

  • The American Athletic Conference is suspending all spring sports competition until further notice.

  • NCAA President Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors have canceled the Division I men’s and women’s 2020 basketball tournaments, as well as all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships, according to Bruce Feldman

Cities

Chicago

March 12th

  • Illinois Gov. Pritzker asked all owners of Chicago’s sports teams not to have home games or, if they have games, not to have fans in attendance until May 1, according to @AdamHoge. All owners agreed to that request.

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