How the 2019 Coronavirus has Affected the Sports Industry

The coronavirus is now declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organization. Currently, there are now over 140,000 cases related to this. The virus has also caused over 5,000 fatalities. It has already spread to over 100 countries.

It’s definitely become a problem around the world and it also affects many industries. The sports industry is greatly affected by this too. Many sports events have already been canceled. March has always been a great month for many sports fans but for now, it’s become the month of the virus.
Major leagues from around the world have already made the necessary changes to help lessen the spread of the virus. From the NBA, the NHL, the IPL, to the EPL, here are the updates that sports fans should know about.


The National Basketball Association abruptly announced the suspension of the rest of its season this week. This is after it was found that one of the players of Utah Jazz tested positive for the coronavirus. This happened just moments before a game began in Oklahoma City.

At first, the NBA was trying to avoid the suspension by only advising its players to avoid handshakes, giving the fans high fives and signing autographs with borrowed pens and markers. However, the confirmed case within the league changed things completely. The indefinite suspension of the basketball games within the NBA has started on March 12.

The Indian Premier League

After weeks of waiting whether the IPL will be canceled or not, the Board of Cricket Control in India or BCCI has finally made an announcement about this. The IPL will still push through but instead of it starting on March 29, it will begin on April 15.

This announcement was reported on tips after New Delhi and Mumbai have already banned large gatherings for any sporting events. Even the two remaining one-day cricket internationals in India has been called off. People are also saying anyway that even if the I-PL pushes through on the 29th, people will most likely stay away from the stadium.

The Major League Baseball

The MLB has already suspended the spring training indefinitely. The start of the season will also be delayed for at least two weeks. Instead of March 26, the opening day will happen on April 9. This is the earliest date, and so it’s possible that it will still happen later than April 9.

According to the MLB, “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.

It also explained why these were necessary. “Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our players, employees, and fans. MLB will continue to undertake the precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts. We send our best wishes to all individuals and communities that have been impacted by coronavirus.”

The English Premier League

The EPL is also now suspended until April 4 because of the outbreak. The governing bodies for the leagues said in a statement, “Following a meeting of shareholders today, it was unanimously decided to suspend the Premier League with the intention of returning on April 4.” 

The chief executive of the Premier League also talked about this. He said, “In this unprecedented situation, we are working closely with our clubs, Government, The FA, and EFL and can reassure everyone the health and welfare of players, staff and supporters are our priority.”

He added, “Despite the challenges, it is the Premier League’s aim to reschedule the displaced fixtures, including those played by Academy sides, when it is safe to do so.”

The rest of the soccer matches in England are now also canceled. It was also reported that Arsenal FC’s coach, Mikel Arteta, and Chelsea player Callum Hudson-Ohio were found positive of the 2019 coronavirus. 

Three Leicester City players and one Everton FC member are all on self-isolation as they are reported to have symptoms of the virus.

The Masters

The officials of the Augusta National Golf Club have announced that The Masters will also be postponed. The PGA Tour, also announced that it was canceling several golf tournaments until the week of Masters, which is scheduled on April 9 to 12.

The Masters organizers said in a statement, “We hope this postponement puts us in the best position to safely host the Masters tournament and our amateur events at some later date.” 

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