Major League Baseball has also announced the suspension of its season … saying in a statement Thursday the start of the 2020 season will be delayed by at least 2 weeks.
“MLB will announce the effects on the schedule at an appropriate time and will remain flexible as events warrant, with the hope of resuming normal operations as soon as possible,” league officials said.
10:33 AM PT — The NHL just joined the MLS and NBA … suspending its season as well, saying the pause will take place immediately.
“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 league said in a statement.
NHL officials added, “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.”
The MLS is following the NBA’s lead … suspending its season over coronavirus concerns.
The soccer league made the decision Thursday, saying the season will be put on hold for 30 days — this despite no MLS players coming out as COVID-19 positive yet.
“Our clubs were united today in the decision to temporarily suspend our season,” MLS commissioner Don Garber said.
It’s unclear when and how the league will make up the missed games … but it appears this is the solution for most major sports across the U.S. when it comes to handling fears over the virus.
In addition to the MLS and the NBA … the ATP Tour announced a six-week suspension of the men’s professional tennis tour as well.
NHL officials have said they’re still looking into all options for their season … but a suspension of play appears to be definitely on the table for the hockey league.
The PGA Tour, meanwhile, is still going forward with THE PLAYERS Championship in Florida this weekend … and the MLB is still playing its spring training games in front of fans in both Florida and Arizona. Although both leagues say they’re still in heavy talks with health officials over their next moves.
So far, only two major pro athletes in the U.S. have been revealed as coronavirus positive — Utah Jazz stars Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert.