The coronavirus outbreak has impacted numerous industries across the United States and the world, from major movies like No Time To Die and Fast 9 getting delayed, to schools shutting down, and businesses seeing fewer customers. Now, the outbreak has started to impact sports leagues, with the NBA suspending the rest of 2019-20 season “until further notice” after multiple players tested positive for the coronavirus. The 2020 Olympics are also likely to be officially postponed.
UPDATE: “NBA owners and executives are bracing for the possibility of mid-to-late June as a best-case scenario for the league’s return,” according to ESPN.
“The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of [Wednesday’s] schedule of games until further notice,” the league said in a statement. “The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.”
Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz and his teammate Donovan Mitchell both tested positive for the virus, according to reports from ESPN and other outlets. Following the NBA’s news, the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, and Major League Soccer, along with other sports leagues, announced that each will be ceasing playing games as well and changing interactions with fans.
The MLB announced that it will “suspend baseball operations indefinitely,” according to Hardball Talk, with an official statement coming soon. The MLB officially announced that Opening Day will be delayed “by at least two weeks.” The NHL announced that it will “pause” the 2019-20 season for the time being. Multiple college basketball conferences also announced that conference tournaments ahead of the NCAA Tournament are canceled, including the Big 10, SEC, Big 12, ACC, and American conferences. Major League Soccer announced that it has decided to “temporarily suspend our season” for 30 days.
NBA To Suspend Season Following Tonight’s Games pic.twitter.com/2PTx2fkLlW
— NBA (@NBA) March 12, 2020
While the PGA Tour has not canceled or suspended the season, the organization announced that moving forward events like the Players Championship and others on the schedule will be played without fans in attendance. “For the time being, this decision allows the PGA Tour, our fans and constituents to plan, prepare and respond as events develop,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said in a statement.
The NBA and other leagues had considered potentially playing games without fans in attendance, but the players contracting the virus changed the decisions on that. The domino effect of the NBA suspending play has now broadened to other leagues and industries, with Broadway theaters in New York City and numerous other events like CinemaCon and television upfront presentations being canceled.
Here is an updating list of the leagues, teams, and conferences that have suspended or altered events because of the coronavirus:
- Kentucky Derby: Postponed to September
- French Open: Postponed to September
2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo:
UPDATE: The Olympics will be pushed to 2021: Read more here.
The official announcement came on Tuesday as the International Olympic Committee has agreed “100%” to a proposal of postponing the 2020 Tokyo Olympics for “about one year until 2021,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said.
IOC member Dick Pound previously spoke with USA Today the day before the official word came out and said that “postponement has been decided” for the Olympic Games, with the event moving “likely to 2021.”
Previous: International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound spoke with USA Today and said that “postponement has been decided” for the Olympic Games and that the event will be moved “likely to 2021.” While the IOC has yet to release an official statement about the postponement, Pound said that officials are starting to work out the details and that “the Games are not going to start on July 24,” as they were originally scheduled. Pound added that he believes that the “IOC will announce its next steps soon.”
“On the basis of the information, the IOC has, the postponement has been decided,” Pound said in the interview. “The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know. [The new plans] will come in stages. We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are immense.”
Major League Baseball:
MLB announces they will delay Opening Day by at least 2 weeks. pic.twitter.com/xvBrHenKVs
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) March 12, 2020
The 124th Boston Marathon has been postponed – the @BAA understands the city’s decision that the marathon cannot be held on April 20, and we offer our full support to take all efforts to postpone until September 14, 2020. Read more: https://t.co/CsnHNKOAZz pic.twitter.com/eBEGDM18FT
— Boston Marathon (@bostonmarathon) March 13, 2020
Statement from Chairman Ridley:
— The Masters (@TheMasters) March 13, 2020
Premier League Soccer:
The Premier League, FA, EFL and WSL have collectively agreed to postpone the professional game in England
— Premier League (@premierleague) March 13, 2020
National Hockey League:
The NHL pauses the 2019-20 season. pic.twitter.com/bCi776ZFqX
— NHL (@NHL) March 12, 2020
Major League Soccer:
Major League Soccer Suspends Season for 30 Days pic.twitter.com/P0HEPmsnkx
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) March 12, 2020
PGA TOUR events – across all Tours – will proceed as scheduled, but without fans through the Valero Texas Open. Additionally, the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship has been postponed.https://t.co/xl2a7VCSsm
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 12, 2020
Major League Baseball:
After a conference call among owners this afternoon, Major League Baseball is expected to suspend spring training. The league likely will delay the beginning of the regular season as well. At this point, it’s a formality that ownership-level sources expect to happen.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 12, 2020
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