Report: MLB Season May Be Delayed Until Memorial Day Weekend Due to Coronavirus

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 16, 2020

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred answers questions at a press conference during MLB baseball owners meetings, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
John Raoux/Associated Press

The start of the 2020 MLB season has been postponed for two weeks, but there is a solid chance it will be longer before baseball returns.

Two MLB executives told Bob Nightengale of USA Today that the season might not begin until at least Memorial Day on May 25.

The league announced last week it was canceling all spring training games with the regular season delayed out of concern for the coronavirus.

"Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our players, employees and fans," the league said in a statement. "MLB will continue to undertake the precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts."

The global pandemic has already led to over 5,000 deaths worldwide with more than 150,000 confirmed cases, per CNN.com. The United States has 1,678 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Sunday.

Most major sports leagues have suspended games during the outbreak, but an attempt to reduce the spread could lead to an even longer absence.

On Sunday, the Center for Disease Control advised against events with more than 50 people for the next eight weeks, a range that lasts through May 10. Even without fans, an MLB game would feature 50 people in players alone.

Boston Red Sox President Sam Kennedy said Friday MLB had hoped to still complete a 162-game season in 2020, per Bleacher Report's Scott Miller, potentially adding the postponed games to the end of the year. However, this could be tougher to accomplish with about one-third of a season lost because of the coronavirus.