Japan's NPB to Bar Fans from Preseason Games Because of Coronavirus Concerns

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 27, 2020

LAKELAND, FL - FEBRUARY 17:  A detailed view of a group of Rawlings official Major League baseballs sitting on the field during the Detroit Tigers Spring Training workouts at the TigerTown Facility on February 17, 2020 in Lakeland, Florida.  (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Mark Cunningham/Getty Images

Japan's professional baseball league will play the remainder of its preseason games without letting fans into the stadiums as a way of countering the threat of coronavirus.

The Associated Press (h/t ESPN) reported the news, noting the decision was made Wednesday during a meeting including representatives from the league's 12 teams. There are 72 remaining preseason games prior to the regular-season opener on March 20.

The move comes as the country's top soccer league, the J1 League, stopped play until March 15 out of fears of the virus.

Fears about coronavirus impacting sports made headlines Tuesday when Dick Pound, a senior member of the International Olympic Committee, suggested an outright cancelation of the 2020 Games in Tokyo is more likely than moving or postponing it if the virus is not contained in the coming months, per Stephen Wade of the Associated Press.

Pound indicated a decision may need to be made by May regarding whether the Olympics will carry on as expected.

According to CNN, there have been more than 80,000 cases of coronavirus around the world and more than 2,700 deaths.

The AP noted there have been five deaths as a result of the virus in Japan.

What's your take?Get the B/R app to join the conversation

Related

    Bargain-Bin Free Agents Who Can Still Help Teams

    There are underrated vets—players without an All-Pro or Pro Bowl season—who can still make a difference

    Featured logo
    Featured

    Bargain-Bin Free Agents Who Can Still Help Teams

    Maurice Moton
    via Bleacher Report

    Ranking NBA Duos ✌️

    Which team's power duo has been the best this season?

    Featured logo
    Featured

    Ranking NBA Duos ✌️

    Andy Bailey
    via Bleacher Report

    Offseason's Biggest Loser So Far

    Why the last two weeks have been a disaster for the Bears

    Featured logo
    Featured

    Offseason's Biggest Loser So Far

    Brent Sobleski
    via Bleacher Report

    2020's Free-Agent Duds 👎

    Predicting whose talent won't be worth the investment

    Featured logo
    Featured

    2020's Free-Agent Duds 👎

    Chris Roling
    via Bleacher Report