Editor’s note: Follow this blog for the latest on the coronavirus from The Athletic writers.
A quick summary, with some details below
- Tennis: French Open postponed until September; Wimbledon has been canceled
- NCAA BB: Men’s and women’s NCAA tournaments canceled
- NCAA FB: All team activities are suspended for ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Notre Dame, MAC, Pac-12 and SEC. Spring games are canceled for ACC, Big Ten, Notre Dame, AAC and MAC.
- NBA: Season suspended indefinitely; limited workouts in select cities to begin May 8
- WNBA: Season postponed indefinitely
- NHL: Season suspended indefinitely
- MLS: Season suspended; target return date of May 10
- MLB: Spring training canceled; season postponed indefinitely
- NFL: Owners meetings canceled; draft still scheduled for April 23-25 but public events in Las Vegas canceled
- XFL: Season suspended
- AFL: Season suspended, AFLW season canceled
- Boxing: All sanctioned events are suspended indefinitely
- MMA: UFC 249, scheduled for April 18, has been canceled
- Champions League: Play is suspended
- Europa League: Play is suspended
- Premier League: Season suspended until at least mid-May
- UEFA Euro 2020: Postponed until summer 2021
- Copa America: Postponed until summer 2021
- NWSL: Season postponed indefinitely; training suspended until May 5
- PGA Tour: Some events canceled; plan is to resume at Colonial on June 11
- NASCAR: Planning a return on May 17 with seven races in 10 days at two tracks (Charlotte and Darlington) – details below
- Masters: Postponed to Nov. 9-15
- 2020 Olympic Games: Postponed until summer 2021
- PGA Championship: Postponed to Aug. 3-9
- NCAA: Recruiting suspension in effect through April 15
- Kentucky Derby: Moved from first Saturday in May to first Saturday in September
The latest: NASCAR sets return date of May 17
NASCAR says it is coming back, and soon. The sanctioning body announced a plan to run seven runs (across three of its series) in 10 days at two tracks.
NBA sets May 8 as date some teams can open facilities
The NBA will open practice facilities to players on May 8 in cities and states where local governments have eased stay-at-home orders, according to NBA.com. Players will be allowed to practice on a voluntary basis for individual work, but teams will not permit larger group workouts. This decision, according to previous reports, does not mean the league is closer to resuming the season.
Boise State furloughs football coaches
From The Athletic’s Dave Southorn: The school cited a nearly $10 million impact from losing important events in the spring and into the summer, plus refunding students for meals or housing for the time they could not be on campus. To compensate, Boise State will furlough nearly all employees making $40,000 or more annually for four to 10 days, depending on their salary, between May 3 and July 31.
Those making $150,000 or more will be required to take 10 furlough days, those making $100,000 to $149,999 will take seven, those making $75,000 to $99,999 will take five, and those making between $40,000 and $74,999 will take four.
Bellator MMA postpones June 6 event
The event, Bellator 244, was scheduled for Wintrust Arena in Chicago. No events are currently on the Bellator schedule.
Broncos’ Miller tests positive for COVID-19
Broncos linebacker Von Miller became the second NFL player to test positive for COVID-19, his agent, Joby Branion, told The Athletic.
Miller began to experience some of the symptoms known to be caused by the virus and was tested because he also has asthma, which puts him at a greater risk of significant illness.
The Broncos said in a statement that Miller “is doing well” and “has elected to share his diagnosis publicly to emphasize that anyone can be afflicted with (the) coronavirus.” He is the first member of the organization to test positive for the disease, they said.
Rams offensive lineman Brian Allen tested positive for COVID-19 last month, leading to the immediate closure of the team facility.
PGA Tour plans to resume play June 11
The PGA Tour plans to resume its schedule the second week of June, with the first four events, beginning with the first round of the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, on June 11, to be played without fans in attendance.
Organizers had planned to restart the season on May 18. The RBC Heritage, in Hilton Head, S.C., the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Conn., and the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit will also be played without spectators.
If that plan can be followed, the PGA Tour would sponsor 36 tournaments this season instead of the scheduled 48.
The PGA Championship was moved to August, the U.S. Open to September and the Masters to November. The British Open and Canadian Open were canceled; those adjustments, along with the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics, have allowed organizers to reschedule events for those weeks.
MLB team employees will be the subjects of US’s largest COVID-19 antibody study
From Molly Knight: Ten thousand employees of 27 of the league’s 30 clubs have volunteered to take part in what researchers from Stanford, USC and the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory are calling the COVID-19 Sero Prevalence Study, an MLB spokesman confirmed. The antibody test does not look for active COVID-19 infection, but rather the presence of a specific blood protein the human body produces in response to it. It is not the same as the PCR tests used to determine if people are currently infected with the virus.
Obstacles remain before MLB begins
Major League Baseball is discussing a plan to quarantine teams and playing in a centralized location, likely in and around Phoenix, in order to begin the season in May, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. That plan faces several obstacles, Rosenthal reported, including federal and state approval, financial considerations and guidelines on personal interactions.
Permitting players to travel back into the United States from their homes overseas is another significant issue, and the players’ union would want to ensure every precaution would be taken to prevent players from contracting the virus.
“While we have discussed the idea of staging games at one location as one potential option, we have not settled on that option or developed a detailed plan,” MLB said in a statement.
UFC plan to hold event in undisclosed location scuttled, event now canceled
UFC president Dana White said UFC 249 will go on as scheduled on April 18 but will be moved from Barclays Center in New York to an undisclosed location.
That location is reportedly the Tachi Palace Casino Resort, which is on land that is part of the federally recognized Santa Rosa Indian Community in central California and thus is not subject to oversight from the California State Athletic Commission or the state’s stay-at-home mandate.
White told media partners he has rented the facility for two months and will “continue to pump fights out.” He said he also has access to a private island so fighters who are not able to enter the United States are able to compete.
Khabib Nurmagomedov was supposed to defend his lightweight title against Tony Ferguson in the main event, but Nurmagomedov, from Dagestan in Russia, is unable to leave the country. Ferguson will instead face Justin Gaethje in an interim title fight.
FIFA to extend season indefinitely
With the threat of the coronavirus varying around the world, FIFA will allow each country’s soccer association to determine when seasons will end.
That decision does not mean associations will be prohibited from ending competitions as they stand — the Belgian Football Association has already proposed canceling its top-flight season with one game remaining — but rather will remove the pressure to finish during the pandemic.
FIFA will also change the dates of the summer transfer window and allow the contracts of players set to expire on June 30 to be extended through the season.
Wimbledon canceled for first time since World War II
The All England Club has called off Wimbledon for the first time since 1945, making it the first Grand Slam tournament to be called off because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was supposed to be held from June 29 to July 12.
“It has weighed heavily on our minds that the staging of The Championships has only been interrupted previously by World Wars,” said Ian Hewitt, the chairman of the All England Club, “but, following thorough and extensive consideration of all scenarios, we believe that it is a measure of this global crisis that it is ultimately the right decision to cancel this year’s Championships, and instead concentrate on how we can use the breadth of Wimbledon’s resources to help those in our local communities and beyond.”
The French tennis federation previously delayed the start of the French Open, set to be held from May 24 to June 7, nearly four months to Sept. 20 to Oct. 4.
It is with great regret that the AELTC has today decided that The Championships 2020 will be cancelled due to public health concerns linked to the coronavirus epidemic.
The 134th Championships will instead be staged from 28 June to 11 July 2021.https://t.co/c0QV2ymGAt
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) April 1, 2020
WNBA postpones start of season
While other domestic sports leagues at all levels suspended, postponed or canceled seasons and competitions as the threat of the virus escalated, the WNBA waited to announce its decision until April 3. The league was not scheduled to begin its regular season until May 15, with training camps slated to open on April 26.
The first major event, the WNBA Draft, will take place as scheduled on April 17, but virtually, the league announced on March 26.
Knicks owner James Dolan tests positive for virus
Knicks owner James Dolan tested positive for the coronavirus, the team announced on March 28, becoming the first U.S. major sports owner known to have tested positive for COVID-19.
The team said Dolan, who continues to oversee business operations, has been self-isolating and is experiencing “little to no symptoms.”
Japanese Prime Minister announces agreement to postpone Olympics
After his telephone talks with IOC President Bach, PM Abe spoke to the press and explained that the two have agreed that the Tokyo Olympic Games would not be canceled, and the games will be held by the summer of 2021.
After his telephone talks with IOC President Bach, PM Abe spoke to the press and explained that the two have agreed that the Tokyo Olympic Games would not be cancelled, and the games will be held by the summer of 2021. pic.twitter.com/ihe8To2g3R
— PM’s Office of Japan (@JPN_PMO) March 24, 2020
On Sunday, this was the IOC’s stance:
The International Olympic Committee will give itself until the middle of April to decide if it’ll postpone the 2020 Tokyo Olympics scheduled for July, according to a letter by IOC president Thomas Bach to Olympic athletes that was released Sunday.
That letter comes two days after USA Swimming and USA Track and Field urged the U.S. Olympic Committee to lobby to have the Games postponed until 2021 in the wake of the ongoing global health crisis related to the coronavirus.
In his letter to athletes, Bach said the IOC’s leading principle is to “safeguard the health of everyone involved” and that the organization would “adhere to this in all of our decisions” about the Tokyo Games.
USA Swimming calls for Tokyo Games to be postponed to 2021
USA Swimming is urging the country’s Olympic leadership to delay the Tokyo Games for a year. Not long after, the Games were indeed rescheduled for July 23-August 8, 2021.
“Health and safety should be the priority for everybody,” Tim Hinchey, the CEO of USA Swimming, told The Athletic. “We’re in an unprecedented time of unpresented circumstance in the world right now.”
In a letter to the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, Hinchey asked that the organization advocate for a one-year postponement of the Tokyo Games.
The stress caused by uncertainty over the future of the Games has put Olympic athletes in a vulnerable position, Hinchey said. The USA Swimming team coaches and athletes have been in contact daily and decided to take a united stance.
“One of the things we’re noticing quickly was just the stress and anxiety and starting to really get concerned about mental health when it came to our athletes,” Hinchey said.
Accessibility to water has been an enormous challenge for athletes training, which has also thrown the Olympic trial process into a tailspin.
“When these facilities are shut, that presents a No. 1 problem,” Hinchey said. “The sports for which they excel at a world-class level, they don’t have access to water — and that is the most stressful bit, I think, right now.”
— Dan Robson
Saints coach Sean Payton tests positive
Per Adam Schefter of ESPN, Payton is the first known positive test from the NFL.
Celtics’ Marcus Smart, two Lakers also test positive
Ottawa Senators player tests positive; NHL’s Bill Daly says full season in 2020-21 is a priority
An unnamed Ottawa Senators player tested positive for the virus, the team said in a release late Tuesday night. That player is experiencing mild symptoms and is now in isolation. It is believed that multiple Senators players are ill and awaiting test results to determine how many have been infected. More from Hailey Salvian and James Mirtle.
An Ottawa Senators player has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The player has had mild symptoms and is in isolation.
— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) March 18, 2020
And the NHL deputy commissioner told The Athletic that preserving a full 82-game season will be the top priority when the league gets to a point at which it is safe to consider options for completing the 2019-20 season. The full conversation with Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun.
Four Brooklyn Nets, including Kevin Durant, test positive
From Alex Schiffer: Kevin Durant, three other Nets players test positive for COVID-19 virus.
New York mayor Bill de Blasio had this reaction:
We wish them a speedy recovery. But, with all due respect, an entire NBA team should NOT get tested for COVID-19 while there are critically ill patients waiting to be tested.
Tests should not be for the wealthy, but for the sick. https://t.co/7uQlL3zc7Z
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) March 17, 2020
The Los Angeles Times reports the Lakers, the team that played the Nets in the final game before the suspension, will test their players Wednesday.
Here’s Bill Oram: Testing Lakers for COVID-19 was socially irresponsible.
MLB to push season back to comply with latest CDC recommendation
Statement from Major League Baseball: pic.twitter.com/E5xPfMGOc0
— MLB (@MLB) March 16, 2020
Pistons’ Christian Wood has the coronavirus
James L. Edwards III and Shams Charania report: The Detroit forward is the third NBA player known to have contracted the virus that causes COVID-19. Wood, who has been in self-isolation since Wednesday, felt symptoms Thursday and was tested. Per a source, Wood is “100 percent OK” and “feeling fine.”
Rosenthal: No plan yet for paying baseball teams’ hourly workers
As players like George Springer and Trevor Bauer pitch in with money for stadium workers and game-day staffers, executives with four clubs, facing different challenges than their counterparts in the NBA and NHL, said Saturday night they are still formulating ideas for how to compensate workers for the time they miss.
A good read on the Olympics
Help for workers
The Charlotte Hornets join the list of teams providing financial aid to game-day staffers.
— Rod Boone (@rodboone) March 15, 2020
The Portland Trail Blazers have followed suit, pledging $1.4 million to pay nearly 1,000 part-time employees who would have worked Blazers home games.
XFL player tests positive for COVID-19
Lindsay Jones reports: A Seattle Dragons player has tested positive for COVID-19, the league spokeswoman told The Athletic. The player, who wasn’t identified, self-reported to the team’s medical staff after falling ill. The positive test was confirmed Friday. It’s the first diagnosis of the coronavirus-caused disease in pro football.
Baseball trying to work through issues prompted by COVID-19
From Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich: Questions of pay, service time, eventual scheduling of games and how best to keep players from contracting the virus are being worked through amid the uncertainty. As one player agent put it: “It’s hard to have a plan when you can’t have a plan.”
NCAA suspends recruiting through April 15
On Friday, the NCAA announced a recruiting dead period for all divisions until at least April 15. It was further determined that eligibility relief would be extended to all student-athletes participating in spring sports.
Division I Council Coordination Committee agrees eligibility relief is appropriate for spring sports: pic.twitter.com/u7hwYOyTDV
— Inside the NCAA (@InsidetheNCAA) March 13, 2020
The Masters has been rescheduled for November
Augusta National announced last month that it would not hold the tournament in its customary April spot. The new dates are Nov 9-15.
Statement from Chairman Ridley:
— The Masters (@TheMasters) March 13, 2020
The Boston Marathon is moved to September
The Boston Athletic Association said Friday that the race will not be held on Patriots Day, the third Monday in April. Instead, the group intends to hold the race on Monday, Sept. 14.
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
The NCAA Tournaments have been canceled
The NCAA has canceled the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments and March Madness.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 12, 2020
The Big Ten, SEC, American, Atlantic 10, Big 12, Pac-12 and Big East conferences all canceled their conference tournaments Thursday, in some cases minutes before they were scheduled to begin their game schedules.
The Big East tipped off its first quarterfinal game, between St. John’s and Creighton, before the decision was made. The announcement came at halftime. The game was being played at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
The NHL has put its season on hold
The NHL has followed suit with the NBA and MLS and put the season on hold. From what we know, there was no opposition to the motion to suspend activities.
As per someone on the Board of Governors call with the NHL, the season has officially been paused.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) March 12, 2020
The AHL, USHL and CHL have also suspended their seasons.
Here’s more from LeBrun on the matter: NHL makes the correct decision to temporarily suspend its season.
Plus, James Mirtle explores what the NHL season will look like if it resumes after the COVID-19 shutdown.
From Scott Wheeler: As the NHL hit pause, junior hockey leagues scrambled to respond to COVID-19.
Baseball suspends operations
2020 Opening Day to be delayed by at least two weeks; Spring Training Games cancelled beginning today; and @WBCBaseball Qualifier games postponed indefinitely due to the national emergency created by the coronavirus pandemic. pic.twitter.com/yCgUHkdfpF
— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) March 12, 2020
Here’s more from Jayson Stark: It was just a normal spring — until it wasn’t.
And from Marc Carig: Baseball confronts a postponed season and a chilling, uncertain spring.
The XFL joins the list of leagues suspending operations
Add the XFL to this list. It informed its players that it’s suspending the season indefinitely, sources confirmed. https://t.co/GjzIpgCmjv
— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) March 12, 2020
Utah’s Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell test positive for coronavirus; NBA suspends season
Thursday evening update: The NBA has informed teams of its policies for the next few days.
The NBA has informed all 30 teams on policies effective immediately and through March 16, including:
– All players must remain in market of team
– Players remain home as long as possible
– NO group workouts, practices
– Team physicians/trainers speak to each player once a day
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 12, 2020
Staples Center was an eerie scene on what should have been a busy game night, reports Brett Dawson.
On Thursday morning, Shams Charania updated the situation to confirm Donovan Mitchell has tested positive for COVID-19:
Sources: Donovan Mitchell was the only Jazz player/personnel to test positive for coronavirus out of 58 tests administered on Wednesday night. Remaining tests came back negative.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 12, 2020
ESPN first reported that Mitchell tested positive.
From Wednesday evening …
Absolutely huge news via The Athletic’s Shams Charania:
Sources say Gobert is feeling good, strong and stable — and was feeling strong enough to play tonight.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 12, 2020
And then this:
The NBA has suspended its season.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 12, 2020
Sources: The Raptors have informed their players to self-quarantine for the next 14 days due to coronavirus situation. Toronto faced Utah and Rudy Gobert on Monday.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 12, 2020
Here’s more from Charania and Tony Jones: Rudy Gobert tests positive for coronavirus — what we know so far.
David Aldridge’s opinion is the NBA had no choice and neither do the rest of us. “And every other major sports league will have to shut down, too,” he writes.
The Athletic’s Erik Horne was on the scene in Oklahoma City.
Tony Jones provides a first-person account of having to undergo coronavirus testing and a quarantine due to his exposure and everything that happened on that crazy night in OKC.
The Toronto Raptors announced Friday that after a 48-hour wait, all of their COVID-19 test results are encouraging. Blake Murphy notes, however, that other questions remain.
Sam Vecenie and John Hollinger on how the coronavirus pandemic will alter the pre-NBA Draft process.
John Hollinger goes in-depth on what to know about the suspended season and when it could resume.
And here’s an editorial from Ethan Strauss on why, while Adam Silver is getting praise for suspending the season due to the coronavirus, the move wasn’t made quickly enough.
Reaction from around the NBA
• In Miami, the Heat and Hornets were still playing in the fourth quarter as the news broke. The Heat’s 109-98 loss to the Hornets, which kept them from clinching a playoff berth, was the furthest thing from Heat coach Erik Spoelstra’s mind after the game. “We just found out about the news walking into our locker room. Our locker room is still stunned. This is a very serious time right now. The league is moving appropriately and prudently. We are all monitoring the situation and seeing where it goes from here. We just have to sit back and observe and monitor the situation. I thought the first trigger was potentially going to be play games without fans. It just seemed like every single day, there was a new development, and that’s why before the game I wanted to take a step back just to monitor and wait for a word from the league. There will be another conference call with the league tomorrow, and we will find out more. We are in the present moment, basically hour to hour until we find the next piece of news.”
The Heat ended Spoelstra’s news conference abruptly, and no players were made available to the media, Andre Fernandez of The Athletic Miami reports.
Hornets coach James Borrego said after the game: “This is a very sensitive time right now for our league and our country. We just found out as we got off the court. It’s extremely surreal, but this is the reality for folks. It’s no longer just on TV, in a different country, somewhere else. This is now at home. We have to be smart, be aware, take the advice and trust the NBA has the information to take the best steps forward. To get this information now, it’s a lot to process. We’re going to go home and figure this thing out.”
• From Will Guillory with the Pelicans: With nine minutes remaining before tipoff Wednesday in Sacramento, the Pelicans remained in their locker room while the Kings warmed up at Golden 1 Center. Five minutes after the scheduled start time, the game was canceled after it was revealed that Courtney Kirkland, one of the referees on the docket, was part of the crew for Monday night’s game between the Jazz and Toronto.
“Our guys don’t want to play,” a Pelicans source told The Athletic. However, Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram went on the court to shoot once the announcement was made in the arena.
• The Cavaliers, who played against Gobert and the Jazz last week, have not been sent for testing yet, sources told The Athletic’s Joe Vardon, though any player who doesn’t feel well would likely undergo a test.
• A column from Eric Koreen in Toronto: Raptors on terra nova with COVID-19 scare following Rudy Gobert diagnosis.
• And Sam Amick, Jason Jones and Will Guillory explore the night the NBA came to a halt and the surreal scene in Sacramento.
• Some thoughts from NBAPA vice president Bismack Biyombo:
Bismack Biyombo, who’s an NBAPA vice president, said he had to check the group text message with other board members once he got in the locker room to believe the NBA suspending is actually suspending games. Asked him if he thinks they will play games again this season. He does. pic.twitter.com/L0rPsPsIk2
— Rod Boone (@rodboone) March 12, 2020
NASCAR releases tentative revised schedule
As first reported by The Athletic, NASCAR is hoping to resume the 2020 Cup Series season with the Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend, a best-case scenario that would allow for all 32 remaining points races to be completed by early November.
Though the schedule is tentative and just one of many potential scenarios, it offers insight into NASCAR’s thinking as to how the rest of the season could be completed without points races being canceled. The version of the schedule distributed to some teams this week and obtained by The Athletic includes four midweek races, two additional doubleheader weekends and the elimination of two off weekends that would help make up eight postponed points races.
NASCAR has postponed race weekends through early May, including at Texas Motor Speedway (March 27-29), Bristol Motor Speedway (April 3-5), Richmond Raceway (April 17-19), Talladega Superspeedway (April 24-26) and Dover International Speedway (May 1-3). Tentatively, NASCAR’s first race weekend is scheduled for Martinsville Speedway on May 7-9, although Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has issued a stay-at-home order through June 10.
‘What a waste of time’: Jordan Bianchi reports on the scene from the NASCAR weekend that wasn’t in Atlanta.
Motorsports-related COVID-19 decisions:
• NASCAR: Races are postponed through early May: Texas Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Richmond Raceway, Talladega Superspeedway and Dover International Speedway. NASCAR is working toward a return in mid-May.
• IndyCar: For the first time in its history, the Indianapolis 500 will run outside the month of May. It is now scheduled for Aug. 23, with opening practice beginning Wednesday, Aug. 12. To accommodate the move, several summer races were rescheduled. The previously canceled season-opening race in St. Petersburg, Florida is tentatively listed as the new season finale on a date to be determined. The Grand Prix of Long Beach (originally scheduled April 17-19) and races at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama (April 3-5), Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas (April 24-26) and the doubleheader on the streets of Belle Isle are now canceled.
• NHRA: The NHRA tentatively plans to resume Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events June 5-7 at Gainesville Raceway. The revised schedule will consist of 19 total events, six of which will be condensed to two-day competition. The season will conclude in November at Auto Club Raceway.
• Supercross: The season is indefinitely postponed.
• Formula One: The FIA has announced a mandatory shutdown for all Formula 1 teams.
• IMSA: The following races have been rescheduled: the Acura Sports Car Grand Prix at Mid-Ohio, originally scheduled for May 1-3, has been moved to the weekend of Sept. 25-27; the IMSA Monterey SportsCar Championship at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca has been moved up one weekend to run on Sept. 4-6 (in order to accommodate IMSA competitors planning to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which now will run on Sept. 19-20); and the 23rd annual Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta has been moved back one week to Oct. 14-17.
The 12 Hours of Sebring has been moved to the weekend of Nov. 11-14, when it will become the IMSA season finale. In addition, the World Endurance Championship canceled its 1,000-mile race that was scheduled to be held at Sebring. The Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Mar. 13-15), Grand Prix of Alabama (April 3-5), Grand Prix of Long Beach (April 17-19) and Detroit Grand Prix (May 29-30) have been canceled.
• World of Outlaws: The series is planning a pair of “Behind Closed Doors” events, the first featuring sprint cars on Friday, May 8 at Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa, and the second featuring Late Models at Boone Speedway in Boone, Iowa.
• MotoGP: The 2020 schedule is on hold until at least August.
• Formula E: The electric car series schedule is suspended through June.
Bellator postpones while UFC closes event to fans
Friday’s Bellator 241 event in Uncasville, Conn., is now postponed. On Thursday, officials said the event would be closed to fans, but on Friday, the event was formally canceled. Scheduled fights will be rebooked for a future date.
Saturday’s UFC Brasilia event went on as planned, but without spectactors. As of now, the UFC’s March 21 card in London is scheduled to go on as planned, but the March 28 event in Columbus is moving to the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas.
As for boxing, Lance Pugmire has this: Top Rank’s Bob Arum explains postponement of fights due to the coronavirus.
Here’s more from Pugmire and Mike Coppinger: Boxers, promoters grapple with coronavirus’ effect on fight schedule now in flux.
The PGA follows suit
It is with regret that we are announcing the cancellation of THE PLAYERS Championship and all events through the Valero Texas Open. https://t.co/r01TeB83yK
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 13, 2020
Soccer leagues also suspending seasons
Sources confirmed that MLS has suspended its season and that U.S. Soccer has canceled friendlies for the men’s and women’s national teams in March and April. In a prepared statement, MLS said it will suspend play for 30 days.
Major League Soccer Suspends Season for 30 Days pic.twitter.com/P0HEPmsnkx
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) March 12, 2020
So, to round it all up: MLS, USL, CONCACAF and USA/Mexico international games are all officially suspended and/or canceled. The Mexican league is playing on. NWSL is deciding around 3 p.m. ET.
As of Thursday evening, the Premier League was planning to play other matches this weekend but will now hold an emergency meeting with clubs on Friday to discuss further action.
Sources have told The Athletic this is likely to result in the competition being suspended.
Thursday, Leicester City announced three players had been quarantined after showing symptoms of coronavirus, while Chelsea also canceled training as a precautionary measure after someone close to the squad reported feeling unwell.
From Matt Slater: What happens if the season can’t finish? Coronavirus and football explained.
Ohio State cancels spring game
From The Athletic’s Bill Landis:
Ohio State canceled its spring football game, scheduled for April 11. That game drew more than 60,000 fans last year and has drawn upward of 90,000 in the past. OSU also joined the growing list of universities closing off their remaining home athletic contests from the public, limiting sporting events for the rest of the academic year to student-athletes and their immediate family members, team coaches and staff, essential event management, operational and facility staff and credentialed members of the media.