Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker Recommends No Sporting Events with Fans Until May

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2020

Newly renovated bleachers sit empty waiting for opening day fans Thursday, April 6, 2006 at Wrigley Field in Chicago. Over the winter, the bleachers in the major league's second oldest ball park under went a $13.5 million renovation adding nearly 1,800 seats. The Cubs are set to open their home schedule on Friday against the St. Louis Cardinals. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
JEFF ROBERSON/Associated Press

There will not be any fans in attendance for Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Bulls or Chicago Blackhawks games in the near future because of concerns about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

According to Adam Hoge of NBC Sports Chicago, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he asked the owners of every major sports team in Chicago not to have home games or at least not to allow fans to be in attendance during those games. Pritzker said all the owners agreed to do so until May 1.

"All of the owners that I spoke with told me they completely understood and were more than willing to comply with this guidance," he said, per Scott Powers of The Athletic. "I want to thank them for putting the health and safety of the residents of our state above all else."

Powers noted the governor also mandated events with more than 1,000 people be canceled or postponed and advised doing the same with events of more than 250 people until May 1.

There wasn't going to be any professional sports games in Chicago or Illinois in the immediate future anyway, as the coronavirus has led to the cancellation or postponement of a number of marquee sporting events across the country.

Among the developments are the cancellations of the NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, delayed Opening Day and canceled spring training in Major League Baseball, the suspension of the NBA season and the suspension of the NHL season.

The Cubs' first home game of the 2020 season was scheduled for March 30, and the White Sox's home opener was scheduled for March 26. The Bulls were due to play in the United Center on Sunday, a mere two days after the Blackhawks played in the same building. 

According to CNN, more than 4,600 people have died from the coronavirus worldwide, while more than 124,500 have been infected across the globe.