Major League Baseball has joined the NBA, NHL and MLS in halting play due to the coronavirus. MLB has suspended spring training and will delay Opening Day.
The 2020 Major League Baseball season has been impacted by the novel coronavirus two weeks before it was even set to begin. MLB announced on Thursday a halt to spring training and a delay of Opening Day by at least two weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
All spring training games will be cancelled as of Thursday evening and MLB Opening Day, originally scheduled for March 26, will be pushed back at least two weeks.
A statement from the league said, “This action is being taken in the interest of the safety and well-being of our players, Clubs and our millions of loyal fans.”
The cancellation comes on the same day that the NHL and MLS announced temporary postponements of play and a day after the NBA halted its season due to a positive test from one of its players. College basketball tournaments were also cancelled on Thursday.
The MLB schedule was already starting to be affected by coronavirus, with the Seattle Mariners announcing on Wednesday that they would relocate their opening homestand due to the state-wide ban on large gatherings.
No further details were given about the impact on the regular season, beyond the two week delay. The release said that the league and teams “have been preparing a variety of contingency plans regarding the 2020 regular season schedule. 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.”
The announcement still leaves many questions about how baseball will build up to the 2020 season.
The MLB statement said that “Guidance related to daily operations and workouts will be relayed to Clubs in the coming days.”
For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website or the website for your state’s Department of Health.