MLB PUSHES BACK OPENING DAY TO MID-MAY AT EARLIEST: After last week canceling the rest of spring training and pushing back the March 26th opening date of the season by two weeks because of the coronavirus, Major League Baseball on Monday (March 16th) pushed back opening day until mid-May at the earliest. That came after the federal government issued guidelines Sunday recommending no events of 50 people or more for the next eight weeks.
NFL TO HOLD DRAFT, BUT NO PUBLIC EVENTS: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Monday (March 16th) that the league will move forward with its draft as scheduled from April 23rd to 25th. However, there will be no public events as planned in Las Vegas, and it’s unclear if the draft will still be held in the city. There will be a modified format for the draft that’s still being developed, but it will still be televised.
NHL PUSHES BACK TIMELINE FOR RETURN: The NHL has significantly pushed back its timeline of when it could possibly return to play by several weeks because of the government guidelines against gatherings of more than 50 people for eight weeks. Players were told Monday (March 16th) that they can go home and must self-isolate through March 27th. The league also told them it wouldn’t be able to even give guidance on potential reopening of team practices for another 45 days, which could push any potential return of play into at least May.
NASCAR SUSPENDS SEASON UNTIL MAY: NASCAR has suspended its season until May, affecting seven races, in addition to two others, Atlanta and Homestead, that had already been postponed, because of the government guidelines against gatherings of more than 50 people for eight weeks. It plans to return at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia on May 9th NASCAR said the dates would be rescheduled, stating, “We intend to hold all 36 races this season.”
UFC POSTPONES NEXT THREE EVENTS AFTER TRYING TO HOLD THEM: The UFC has postponed its next three events through April 11th, one planned for Saturday, originally in London, and the ones on March 28th and April 11th. President Dana White had said he was going to hold the events despite the coronavirus outbreak and other sports canceling, but couldn’t find arenas where they could be held. White said on ESPN yesterday (March 16th), “It’s just impossible. We can’t do it.” White insisted he will hold UFC 249 on April 18th, although he doesn’t have a venue for it.
WWE: WRESTLEMANIA WILL GO FORWARD WITHOUT FANS, IN NEW VENUE: WrestleMania, WWE’s big event of the year, is going to go forward, but it will now air live from the WWE training facility in Orlando instead of Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium, and there will be no fans present. The April 5th date remains the same.