coronavirus

How sports leagues are reacting to coronavirus outbreak

Coronavirus
Empty Arena

Empty spectator seats are seen at the Greensboro Coliseum after the NCAA college basketball games at the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament were canceled due to the coronavirus in Greensboro, N.C., Thursday, March 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Ben McKeown)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN/AP) – A look at COVID-19’s effect on the NCAA, NBA, NHL, and other leagues around the United States.

ATP

The Association of Tennis Professionals called off men’s tournaments for the next six weeks; the WTA said its tournament in South Carolina, set for April 6-12, would not be held as scheduled, with decisions about the rest of the season to come in the next week.

Boston Marathon

Organizers of the Boston Marathon, the planet’s most celebrated footrace, are postponing the event until Sept. 14 because of concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced Friday.

IndyCar

IndyCar will open its season on the streets of downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, without spectators. The event will also be shortened to two days, with Friday used for driver health screenings and determining who is considered essential.

Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby is being postponed from May to September because of growing concern about the coronavirus pandemic.

LPGA

The LPGA Tour postponed three tournaments, beginning next week, including its first major of the season.

MLB

Major League Baseball scrapped spring training and postponed the start of its season, currently scheduled for March 26, for at least two weeks.

3/16: MLB’s opening to its 2020 regular season will be delayed to comply with guidelines restricting events of more than 50 people, the MLB announced Monday.

MiLB

Minor League Baseball has decided to delay the start of the 2020 Championship Season.

MLS

Major League Soccer has suspended its season for 30 days.

Nashville SC released the following statement addressing the decision and what to do if you have already purchased a ticket for one of the matches.

“Tickets for all upcoming rescheduled matches (including matches on March 21 and April 3) will be honored when the match is rescheduled. You do not need to take any action. Further updates will be provided as more information is available. For additional ticketing questions, contact Nashville SC at tickets@nashvillesc.com. We want to thank fans for their continued support.”

NASCAR

NASCAR is now postponing events at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway.

NBA

The National Basketball Association became the first major league in the United States to suspend its season on Wednesday night. The decision came after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for the coronavirus.

On Thursday, a second member of the Utah Jazz — Donovan Mitchell — tested positive for the coronavirus. The league said its suspension would last for at least 30 days.

NCAA

March Madness & More

The NCAA announced Thursday it has canceled the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments as well as other remaining winter and spring NCAA championships.

Spring Football

USC and Notre Dame both announced they would suspend practice as their campuses shut down. The SEC’s suspension of sport through March will also take football teams off the practice fields.

Update: 3/17

The SEC is canceling the remainder of the 2019-20 athletic year which includes all spring sports and spring football games.

NFL

The NFL has canceled its main owners’ meeting scheduled for later this month in Palm Beach, Florida. Commissioner Roger Goodell notified the 32 teams “after careful consideration and consultation with medical experts,” according to a league statement. Goodell said the decision was made out of “concern to protect the health of club and league employees and the public while enabling the league to continue with its essential business operations.”

Further changes could be coming for the draft, scheduled to be held in Las Vegas from April 23-25.

NHL

National Hockey League Commissioner, Gary Bettman, announced the pause of the season amid concerns about the new coronavirus.

Nashville Predators CEO, Sean Henry, spoke about the NHL’s decision Thursday afternoon. You can hear his comments above.

PGA

The PGA Tour has canceled THE PLAYERS golf championship and all PGA Tour events across all of their tours through the Valero Texas Open on April 5, 2020.

On Friday, the Augusta National Golf Club has announced the postponing of The Masters Golf Tournament as well as the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and the Drive, Chip & Putt National Finals.

TSSAA

The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association will suspend the remainder of the girls’ state tournament and next week’s boys’ state tournament.

UFC

The UFC has proceeded with its plans to hold a fan-free event in Brazil. The promotion still plans to stage a full fight card with fans inside London’s O2 Arena. When asked about it, UFC President Dana White attributed his decision partly to a conversation with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

XFL

The XFL’s return to the field this year has come to an end as the league canceled regular season play Thursday.

WWE

WWE will hold WrestleMania 36 at the company’s Performance Center in Orlando. That show will be put on without fans and limited personnel. WrestleMania will still stream live on Sunday, April 5 at 7 pm ET on WWE Network and be available on pay-per-view.

A variety of events were to proceed the “show of shows,” including Fan Axxess at the Tampa Convention Center and the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony at Amalie Arena. Those events will be canceled as well.


Most patients with COVID-19 have a mild respiratory illness including fever, cough and shortness of breath. The Tennessee Department of Health strongly encourages Tennesseans to wash your hands often with soap and water and to not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.

The CDC recommends that for the next 8 weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 10 people or more throughout the United States.

High-risk individuals are defined as adults over 60 years old or people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions such as: Heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease.

The Tennessee Department of Health offers a COVID-19 Public Information Line at 877-857-2945, with information available daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Central Time.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

You can also find more information and resources below:

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