MLB to Delay Opening Day ‘By at Least Two Weeks,’ Spring Training Games Canceled Due to Coronavirus

Bryce Harper, Jorge Alfaro. Philadelphia Phillies' Bryce Harper, left, hits a two-run double off Miami Marlins starting pitcher Trevor Richards during the second inning of a baseball game, in Philadelphia. At right is Marlins catcher Jorge AlfaroMarlins Phillies Baseball, Philadelphia, USA - 27 Apr 2019
Matt Slocum/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Major League Baseball (MLB) is the latest sports league to shut down amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

“Following a call with the 30 Clubs, and after consultation with the Major League Baseball Players Association, Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr. today announced that MLB has decided to suspend Spring Training games and to delay the start of the 2020 regular season by at least two weeks due to the national emergency created by the coronavirus pandemic,” MLB said in a statement. “This action is being taken in the interests of the safety and well-being of our players, Clubs and our millions of loyal fans.”

“MLB will continue to evaluate ongoing events leading up to the start of the season. Guidance related to daily operations and workouts will be relayed to Clubs in the coming days,” the statement continued. “As of 4:00 p.m. ET today, forthcoming Spring Training games have been cancelled, and 2020 World Baseball Classic Qualifier games in Tucson, Arizona have been postponed indefinitely.”

Read the full statement below.

The MLB, NHL, and NBA have now all suspended operations as the coronavirus pandemic continues to worsen. They are part of an ever-growing list of major events that are now off as the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide continues to rise. It was also announced Thursday that CBS and NBC will not hold their annual upfront presentations in May at Carnegie Hall, but would instead post video presentations on digital platforms.

Variety is also keeping track of all film and television productions that have been impacted by the coronavirus, including those that have shut down completely or opted to film without studio audiences.