Coronavirus sports updates: MLB postpones opening day until mid-May

Author: AP/CNN/WINK News
Published: Updated:
Credit: MGN

Several sports organizations are suspending all operations indefinitely or for extended periods of time due to concerns over the coronavirus.


NASCAR has postponed its next two races in Atlanta and Miami, and IndyCar has canceled its next four races. In an update, NASCAR it continues to postpone its races through May. 3.

Horse racing

The 146th Kentucky Derby has been postponed from May 2 until the first Saturday in September due to concerns for coronavirus.


Augusta National says next month’s Masters golf tournament is postponed.

Major League Baseball

Major League Baseball has suspended spring training games and will delay opening day until mid-May at the earliest.


When we first pulled up to Hammond Stadium Thursday afternoon parking attendants, fans and workers wondered the same thing as we did—would the Orioles v. Twins game still happen? But we learned that cancellations would be greater than just Thursday night’s game.

The Minnesota Twins say that means their remaining six home games at CenturyLink Sports Complex are canceled.

The team will automatically refund season tickets and other refunds will be issued.

We spoke with some Twins fans who traveled here from northern states and they aren’t happy with the decision.

“We still have shopping centers open, there’s things going on in town and everything they have told people if they don’t feel well or anything, they shouldn’t go out. Well, there’s a lot of healthy people and to me, I don’t think we should be shutting everything down,” said Twins fan Michael Reiseord.

“The news you hear everybody doing that right now here in Florida, but I feel comfortable. I’d let us continue spring training,” said Louann Graft.

The team and the league both stressed the health and safety of players, employees and fans. The league says it will continue to take measures they feel are best.

-Melinda Lee, WINK News

National Hockey League

The NHL announced it will pause its season beginning with Thursday’s games.

“In light of ongoing developments resulting from the coronavirus, and after consulting with medical experts and convening a conference call of the Board of Governors, the National Hockey League is announcing today that it will pause the 2019‑20 season beginning with tonight’s games,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. “The NHL has been attempting to follow the mandates of health experts and local authorities, while preparing for any possible developments without taking premature or unnecessary measures. However, following last night’s news that an NBA player has tested positive for coronavirus – and given that our leagues share so many facilities and locker rooms and it now seems likely that some member of the NHL community would test positive at some point – it is no longer appropriate to try to continue to play games at this time.”

The NHL is halting play with 189 games left in the season and uncertainty about how many more – if any – could be played before the playoffs. A handful of European hockey leagues have already called off the remainder of their seasons.

“We will continue to monitor all the appropriate medical advice, and we will encourage our players and other members of the NHL community to take all reasonable precautions – including by self-quarantine, where appropriate,” Bettman said. “Our goal is to resume play as soon as it is appropriate and prudent, so that we will be able to complete the season and award the Stanley Cup.”

In anticipation of the season being suspended, numerous teams set to play road games were already finalizing plans to return home in the afternoon. The NHL preceded its decision to suspend the season by having all 31 teams cancel practices and pre-game skates. There were 10 games scheduled for Thursday night.

It’s unclear what this move means for the rest of the regular season or playoffs.

The Stanley Cup has been awarded every year since 1893 with two exceptions: in 1919 when the final was canceled after five games because of the Spanish flu outbreak and in 2005 when the season was called off because of a lockout.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover from the new virus.

So far, the NHL has not said any player has tested positive for COVID-19.

The NHL as recently as 2012-13 cut down to a 48-game regular season after a lockout. That season did include full playoffs.

As of Wednesday, the NHL did not have a leaguewide declaration about even potentially holding games in empty arenas without fans in the stands. The Columbus Blue Jackets became the first team to take that step, saying their games would go on with attendance “limited to home and visiting club personnel, credentialed media and broadcast partners, essential club and arena staff and NHL officials.” The San Jose Sharks then said their remaining home games in March would go on without fans.

The NWHL postponed its Isobel Cup final scheduled for Friday night in Boston but did not give a new date.

A person with direct knowledge of discussions tells The Associated Press that a recommendation has been made to the IIHF to cancel the men’s world championships in Switzerland. The recommendation will be taken up for a vote by IIHF members on Thursday, the person told The AP on the condition of anonymity because a decision has not yet been reached.

That development comes days after the IIHF canceled the women’s worlds set to begin in late March in Nova Scotia.

-Associated Press

Major League Soccer

Major League Soccer is suspending its season for 30 days, making it the latest sports league to halt games during the coronavirus pandemic.

MLS’s decision goes into effect immediately.

“Our clubs were united today in the decision to temporarily suspend our season — based on the advice and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), and other public health authorities, and in the best interest of our fans, players, officials and employees,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber.

“We’d like to thank our fans for their continued support during this challenging time.”


National Basketball Association

The NBA suspended its season after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. A person with knowledge told The Associated Press on Thursday that Gobert’s Utah teammate, Donovan Mitchell, also tested positive.

XFL American football league

The XFL announced is has suspended play for its regular season.

ECHL minor league hockey

The ECHL announced it will suspend play for the 2019-20 season

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