The sports world has come to a mostly screeching halt over the past few weeks as COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, has rapidly spread around the globe. Most international soccer leagues suspended play, the NBA suspended play after Rudy Gobert tested positive for the illness, Major League Baseball is delaying the start of its season, March Madness was cancelled, and so much more has happened.
Sports are slowly starting to return in some countries, but it will take some time for many leagues to get back on track. We’ll be using this space to track news and what it means for the return of various leagues.
March 25: Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told WFAA radio hosts he’s hope the NBA will return in mid-May rather than in June. Cuban stresses that these games would likely be played without fans initially. He also put an O/U on the return date at June 1 and said he is taking the under.
March 24: The sense around the League is that everyone wants to “salvage the season,” ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported on Outside the Lines. Here’s the full video:
“No matter what, they want to salvage the season.”@ramonashelburne explains the sense among #NBA owners and players as they try to plan for basketball post #COVIDー19 pic.twitter.com/hvoUxfhXPg— Outside The Lines (@OTLonESPN) March 23, 2020
English Premier League
March 19: The EPL has suspended play through April 30th at the earliest, according to ESPN. Sources told ESPN the EPL and other English Football League participants will “absolutely finish before the next [season] begins.”
March 17: Roland-Garos announced it is rescheduling the French Open to September 20th, and the event will run through October 4th.
March 17: Churchill Downs announced it will reschedule the Kentucky Derby to September 5th.
March 19: The league is targeting a May 10th return date based on CDC guidelines of postponing events of more than 50 people for at least eight weeks, per Grant Wahl. Given the CDC guidelines involved, this could change.
March 18: Italian Minister of Sport Vincenzo Spadafora is hoping the league can resume play on May 3rd, albeit most likely without fans in attendance, per goal.com.