(CelebrityAccess) — On Thursday, multiple major sports leagues, including the National Hockey League and Major League Soccer announced the suspension of all upcoming games due to the concerns related to COVID-19.
“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 2019/2020 season, beginning with tonight’s games.,” the NHL 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.
“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. 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. Until then, we thank NHL fans for your patience and hope you stay healthy.”
The suspension of games by the leagues follows a similar move by the National Basketball Association, who announced on Wednesday night that all games have been indefinitely postponed after two players were diagnosed with COVID-19.
The NHL has 189 games remaining, including 10 scheduled for Thursday. The regular season was scheduled to end April 4, with the Stanley Cup Playoffs starting the week of April 6.
The Major League Soccer suspension will take place for a minimum of 30 days, the league said.
“It was very clear from our owners that the health and safety of players, fans, and staff was their top priority,” said USL CEO Alec Papadakis. “In consultation with local, state and national health authorities, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Homeland Security, we have temporarily suspended match play for a minimum of 30 days.”
Major League Baseball is reportedly planning to suspend their season as well. The league is currently in spring training mode with the season opener scheduled for March 29th.
However, there was one ray of sunlight for golf fans after the Professional Golfer’s Association announced that The Players Tournament in Ponte Vedra, Florida, as well as other upcoming events, will still take place but will not allow in-person audiences.