NEW YORK, NY (WTNH) — Major League Baseball is delaying the start of its season by at least two weeks because of the coronavirus outbreak. Opening Day had been scheduled for March 26. MLB also has suspended the rest of its spring training game schedule.
MLB had continued to play into Thursday but changed course after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he strongly recommended to local authorities and organizers that they limit all mass gatherings. The March 26 start had been baseball’s earliest scheduled opening other than for international games.
MLB had not had a mass postponement of openers since 1995 when the season was shortened from 162 games to 144 after a strike.
That announcement comes on the heels of the National Hockey League announcing that it is “pausing” play in the current season.
These moves come a day after the NBA suspended play following a player’s positive COVID-19 test. The NHL has not said any player has tested positive for the virus. The NHL is halting play with 189 games left in the regular season and sparking uncertainty about how many more if any could go on before the playoffs. A handful of European hockey leagues have already called off the remainder of their seasons.
The statement from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman states that the league hopes to resume play at a later point in the year.