Major League Baseball announced Thursday that it is canceling the remainder of its spring training schedule and delaying the start of its regular season by at least two weeks amid the coronavirus pandemic.
MLB had continued holding games with fans in the stands through early Thursday and appeared to be moving forward with games before changing course.
On Friday, MLB formally announced the suspension of spring training operations:
MLBPA executive director Tony Clark issued a statement on behalf of the players union:
Depending on when MLB decides to resume its schedule, some teams may be forced to play without fans or move the site of their games. The city of San Francisco placed a ban on events with more than 1,000 people Wednesday, which would affect the Giants.
The Seattle Mariners announced earlier this week that they were looking into alternatives after gatherings of more than 250 people were banned in the city. The state of Washington has been among the most affected by COVID-19, which has reached more than 132,000 cases worldwide, per CNN. There are nearly 1,700 confirmed cases in the United States and 41 deaths.
The NBA indefinitely postponed its season Wednesday night after a player on the Utah Jazz tested positive for the coronavirus. Major League Soccer, the NHL, ATP and most of the remaining college basketball conference tournaments have announced delays or cancellations over the last 24 hours.
President Donald Trump announced the United States is banning most travel from Europe for the next 30 days, beginning Friday, with the United Kingdom and Ireland being among the exceptions.