Coronavirus Impacting Sports: Tracking the Latest April Updates

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistApril 1, 2020

The Olympic rings are seen Monday, March 30, 2020, in Tokyo. The Tokyo Olympics will open next year in the same time slot scheduled for this year's games. Tokyo organizers said Monday the opening ceremony will take place on July 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

The coronavirus pandemic has drastically changed the sports world in 2020, with postponed seasons and canceled events dominating headlines.

The World Health Organization has confirmed over 3.05 million cases of COVID-19 and more than 211,000 deaths across the globe as of April 30.

March alone brought news of canceled basketball tournaments, a postponed Olympics and suspended seasons across the United States and the world, among other developments.

Here is an updated look at the way sports have been impacted by the coronavirus in April (all times ET).


Thursday, April 30

  • 3:25 p.m.: The 2020 Little League World Series has been canceled.
  • 2:57 p.m.: NASCAR announced it will resume its 2020 season with a Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway on Sunday, May 17.
  • 2:31 p.m.: Fortnite announced the 2020 Fortnite World Cup was canceled. What's more, all remaining Fortnite competitions for the remainder of the year will be held online.
  • 7:37 a.m.: The Canadian Football League has requested $150 million in federal financial assistance. It's seeking $30 million now and up to another $120 million if its 2020 season is canceled because of the pandemic.


Wednesday, April 29

  • 5:13 p.m.: With the Tokyo Olympics postponed until the summer of 2021, the International Golf Federation has revised its Olympic qualifying deadline. The deadline for men will now be June 21, 2021 for men, with the women's deadline falling on June 28, 2021.
  • 4:47 p.m.: The National Baseball Hall of Fame officially canceled its 2020 induction weekend, which was scheduled to take place July 24-26. This year's class—which includes New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter, among others—will now be inducted alongside the class of 2021 on July 23-26, 2021.
  • 8:55 a.m.: The 2020 Spanish Vuelta cycling race, which was scheduled to begin Aug. 14 in the Netherlands, has been postponed. Rescheduled dates weren't immediately announced.


Tuesday, April 28

  • 3:58 p.m.: Four more workers from Allegiant Stadium—the Las Vegas Raiders' soon-to-be home—have recently tested positive for coronavirus, increasing the total to seven confirmed cases among the stadium workers.
  • 2:43 p.m.: North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper gave NASCAR his approval to move forward with the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway after discussing the matter with state public health officials. The race is currently scheduled for May 24.
  • 12:13 p.m.: Michel D'Hooghe, who is FIFA's medical committee chairman, said he believes there should not be any soccer games until Sept. 1 at the earliest.
  • 11:15 a.m.: French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced "the 2019-20 season, notably for football, will not be able to resume" with major sporting events now canceled in the country at least until September. That includes Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 play.
  • 9:55 a.m.: UEFA has informed the major European soccer leagues it wants a final decision about their plans for the remainder of their 2019-20 club seasons by May 25 so it can begin planning for next term's tournaments.


Monday, April 27

  • 3:20 p.m.: The NBA announced "it is targeting no earlier than Friday, May 8," to open team practice facilities in limited capacity in states with more lenient stay-at-home orders. Such openings would prevent more than four players inside a facility at once, and coaches cannot participate. The league also said it will work with teams in states with stricter measures in place to find alternatives.


Sunday, April 26

  • 12:29 p.m.: Churchill Downs will host a virtual Kentucky Derby on May 2, featuring the 13 past Triple Crown winners. The event will be part of a stay-at-home raceday at Churchill Downs, with NBC hosting classic broadcasts before the virtual race.
  • 12:27 p.m.: The Professional Bull Riders held an event Saturday and Sunday in Oklahoma without fans. 


Saturday, April 25

  • 2:21 p.m.: The 2020 Cape Cod Baseball League season has been canceled.
  • 11:51 a.m.: The Liverpool City Council announced it will conduct an investigation to determine the impact the March 11 Champions League match between Liverpool and Atletico Madrid at Anfield had on the spread of the coronavirus in both England and Spain.


Friday, April 24

  • 3:10 p.m.: The UFC announced it will return May 9 with UFC 249. It's also going to hold events May 13 and May 16. All three shows are going to take place from the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.
  • 3:04 p.m.: The 2020 X Games in Minneapolis have been canceled. 
  • 11:44 a.m.: The Dutch Eredivisie became the first major European soccer league to cancel the remainder of the season. A champion will not be crowned. 
  • 10:28 a.m.: The 2020 European Track and Field Championships, which were scheduled to take place Aug. 25-30 in Paris, have been canceled.


Thursday, April 23

  • 10:34 a.m.: The 2021 Euro women's soccer tournament has been postponed until July 6-31, 2022 because of potential scheduling conflicts with the men's Euro tournament and the Tokyo Olympics, which have both been delayed from 2020.


Wednesday, April 22

  • 6:31 p.m.: New York Knicks governor James Dolan has recovered from coronavirus and donated his blood plasma to research for potential COVID-19 treatments.
  • 2:14 p.m.: The NHL has reportedly moved away from the idea of finding neutral-site locations for the remainder of the 2019-20 season and will instead focus on trying to identify one home arena from each division to play the remaining games. There's no clear timetable for a resumption of play.
  • 7:04 a.m.: The 2020 Berlin Marathon, which was scheduled for Sept. 26-27, won't take place as planned. It hasn't been decided whether the event will be postponed or canceled.


Tuesday, April 21

  • 3:06 p.m.: Bellator 244, originally scheduled for June 6 in Chicago, has been postponed. The Bellator 244 card was set to feature a Michael Chandler-Benson Henderson rematch as well as A.J. McKee vs. Darrion Caldwell showdown.
  • 9:00 a.m.: The Scripps National Spelling Bee has been canceled, marking the first time since 1945 that the event has not been held.
  • 6:07 a.m.: The city of Pamplona has canceled its annual San Fermin festival, which includes the Running of the Bulls.


Monday, April 20

  • 5:49 p.m.: The 51st World Series of Poker, originally scheduled to start May 26 in Las Vegas, was postponed. The new date is yet to be determined, although organizers are hoping to hold it in the fall.
  • 5:30 p.m.: Lyman Good revealed he tested positive for COVID-19 in March but is now in full recovery. Good, who is the first UFC fighter to be publicly diagnosed with the coronavirus, was tested again last week and tested negative.
  • 5:03 p.m.: UFC announced changes to a number of scheduled events, noting UFC Fight Night in Lincoln on April 25 and UFC Fight Night in Oklahoma City on May 2 were both canceled. What's more, UFC 250 in Sao Paulo on May 9 and UFC Fight Night in San Diego on May 16 "will not continue as planned."
  • 4:31 p.m.: If there is a UFC event on May 9, Amanda Nunes will not be included. The two-division champion said fighting Felicia Spencer on May 9 is too soon into the coronavirus pandemic but suggested she could be open to a June date.
  • 12:14 p.m.: The NFL announced it donated an additional $3,050,000 to seven markets significantly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The donation was through the league's Inspire Change platform and the Players Coalition and went to health systems, hospitals and nonprofit organizations in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Florida, Louisiana and Washington D.C.


Saturday, April 18

  • 2:05 p.m.: Former boxing referee Eddie Cotton died Friday. He was diagnosed with COVID-19 after being hospitalized because of pneumonia two weeks ago.
  • 7:05 a.m.: The Senior LPGA Championship, which was scheduled to begin July 30, has been canceled.


Friday, April 17

  • 9:30 p.m.: Chicago Sky center Stefanie Dolson disclosed her "whole family" tested positive for COVID-19: "This virus has hit pretty close to home," Dolson said. "About a month ago, my whole family and I, we all tested positive for the virus, and it hit us pretty hard. My mom, she ended up being admitted into the hospital for about four days. She had severe symptoms, pneumonia. But because of the team of health care workers that was there, she's home safe now and healthy."
  • 5:48 p.m.: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told reporters it remains to be seen when the NBA season will resume, if it resumes at all: "We are not in a position to make any decisions and it's unclear when we will be."
  • 1:00 p.m.: NASCAR announced it has postponed events originally scheduled for May 8-9 at Martinsville Speedway.
  • 12:06 p.m.: The NCAA Eligibility Center announced it will waive standardized test score requirements for incoming freshmen during the next academic year (2020-21) because of the coronavirus pandemic.


Thursday, April 16

  • 6:55 p.m.: President Donald Trump said he believes "many" sports leagues will restart without fans in attendance: "Many of them are going to be starting without the fans ... It'll go that way and then the fans will start coming in—maybe they'll be separated by two seats—and then ultimately we want to have packed arenas."
  • 5:40 p.m.: Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller has tested positive for the coronavirus, his agent Joby Branion revealed. Miller is in "good spirits" as he rests at home.
  • 3:11 p.m.: The United States Tennis Association announced it will make a decision about whether the 2020 U.S. Open will be held in "mid-to-late June."
  • 1:58 p.m.: The International Skating Union announced the 2020 World Short Track Speed Skating Championships and the 2020 World Figure Skating Championships have been canceled. Both events were previously postponed from their scheduled dates in March.
  • 10:10 a.m.: The PGA Tour announced an updated schedule with the 2020 season expected to resume June 8 with the Charles Schwab Challenge and conclude Sept. 7 with the Tour Championship. The plan calls for no fans in attendance initially, but the Tour said it will "continue to monitor the situation."


Wednesday, April 15

  • 11:04 p.m.: Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reported Los Angeles Rams center Brian Allen tested positive for COVID-19. He is the first NFL player to test positive.
  • 6:38 p.m.: U.S. Soccer announced it is immediately ending the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. "This was an incredibly difficult decision to make, but the extraordinary and unanticipated circumstances around the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in a financial situation that does not allow for the continuation of the Development Academy into the future," the announcement read.
  • 2:18 p.m.: WWE announced a series of cost-cutting measures because of the coronavirus pandemic's impact on the company, including trimming talent expenses and decreasing operating costs. It also confirmed the release of several Superstars.
  • 1:51 p.m.: A member of the Los Angeles Chargers organization tested positive for COVID-19 and two other people have shown symptoms of the disease. Team owner Dean Spanos, general manager Tom Telesco and head coach Anthony Lynn were not among the positive tests.
  • 12:28 p.m.: MLS, which has been suspended since March 12, reportedly plans on postponing all matches through at least June 8. The league initially hoped to return by May 10.
  • 10:45 a.m.: Speedway Motorsports, the owner of eight NASCAR Cup Series tracks, laid off 180 employees and furloughed 100 more as part of restructuring with the season delayed.
  • 7:05 a.m.: The World Boxing Organization announced all "fights, transactions, release of rankings and other administrative actions" will be halted until at least June 15.


Tuesday, April 14

  • 7:42 p.m.: All Elite Wrestling announced its Double or Nothing event will still take place on May 23, but it will not happen at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. What's more, the AEW Dynamite scheduled for May 27 was canceled.
  • 5:25 p.m.: Employees and players of Major League Baseball teams will participate in a study conducted by Stanford University, USC and the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory (SMRTL) that will try to find coronavirus antibodies in up to 10,000 people in an effort to give researchers more of an idea how widespread COVID-19 is in the United States.
  • 1:26 p.m.: The Senior Open Championship, which was scheduled for July 23-26, has been postponed. Executive director Johnnie Cole-Hamilton said they will "investigate alternative options" to hold the event later in 2020.
  • 12:34 p.m.: The University of Cincinnati announced the elimination of its men's soccer program because of the "profound challenges and widespread uncertainty" brought forth by the coronavirus pandemic. The Bearcats' had competed in men's soccer since 1973.
  • 12:06 p.m.: The Chinese Basketball Association has reportedly elected to extend the delay of its season until at least July and the "possibility of canceling the remainder of the season is still very much in play." Play was originally slated to resume April 15.
  • 10:30 a.m.: MLS announced its original plan to return in mid-May is now "extremely unlikely" and said in a statement it "may become difficult" to play the entire 2020 season.
  • 9:05 a.m.: Tour de France organizers announced the cycling race won't start as scheduled June 27. "Given that it's now impossible that the Tour starts at its planned date, we are consulting with the [International Cycling Union] to try and find new dates," the organizers said.


Monday, April 13

  • 6:52 p.m.: MLS commissioner Don Garber said the league will likely play games behind closed doors if it does return this season and is looking into a number of different formats. "From tournament formats and neutral locations, ultimately playing an abridged regular season, but doing everything to get as many games," Garber said.
  • 6:39 p.m.: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis deemed WWE as an essential business, which will allow it to continue filming its shows in the state.
  • 5:15 p.m.: The NFL and the NFL Players Association agreed to a voluntary offseason program that starts April 20. The "virtual period" provides guidelines for activities such as classroom work and virtual workouts, and they cannot feature any on-field work until all the facilities for all 32 teams are allowed to open based on guidelines from local and federal officials.
  • 2:11 p.m.: The XFL declared for bankruptcy after suspending its operations during the coronavirus pandemic.


Saturday, April 11

  • 4 p.m.: WWE confirmed a positive test from a non-performing staff member, who became symptomatic March 26. WWE also confirmed live TV shows would resume starting Monday but still filmed without fans in attendance.
  • 1:34 p.m.: The Rogers Cup in Montreal has been postponed to 2021.
  • 7:55 a.m.: The 2020 International Champions Cup has been canceled.


Friday, April 10

  • 6:54 p.m.: The reigning WNBA champion Washington Mystics announced that the team's championship parade has been postponed.
  • 3:25 p.m.: Liverpool released a statement of behalf of former Reds player and manager Kenny Dalglish saying he tested positive for COVID-19 after being admitted to the hospital for an unrelated infection on Wednesday.
  • 11:53 a.m.: Florida State offensive lineman Andrew Boselli announced he tested positive for COVID-19 on March 21 and has since recovered. "This is something that needs to be taken seriously. And if we all do our part, we can get through it," he said.
  • 10:55 a.m.: USA Swimming announced its Olympic trials have been rescheduled for June 13-20, 2021 in Omaha, Nebraska.
  • 7:35 a.m.: Tokyo organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto said he can't guarantee the 2021 Summer Olympics will take place after being delayed from 2020. "I don't think anyone would be able to say if it is going to be possible to get it under control by next July or not. We're certainly not in a position to give you a clear answer," he said.


Thursday, April 9

  • 5:57 p.m.: UFC 249, scheduled for April 18, was canceled. Additionally, all other UFC events were postponed indefinitely.
  • 1:15 p.m.: The NBA is preparing to pay players' full paychecks on April 15 even though the season remains indefinitely delayed because of the coronavirus. The league made no further assurances with the next set of payments expected on May 1.
  • 10:40 a.m.: Ottawa Senators head coach D.J. Smith said all seven members of the organization who contracted the coronavirus have completed their recovery. The group included five Sens players, a staff member and radio analyst Gord Wilson, who was the only one to publicly confirm his COVID-19 diagnosis.


Wednesday, April 8

  • 3:56 p.m.: A second worker at Allegiant Stadium—which is scheduled to play host to the Las Vegas Raiders starting in 2020—has tested positive for coronavirus, leading to the workers' area to be "immediately shut down and sanitized." An Allegiant Stadium worker previously tested positive in late March.
  • 2:38 p.m.: The World Athletics Championships have been moved from August 2021 to July 2022 to avoid scheduling conflicts with the 2021 Summer Olympics, which were postponed from 2020 because of COVID-19. The event will still take place in Eugene, Oregon.
  • 12:03 p.m.: The National Lacrosse League announced the remainder of the 2019-20 regular season has been canceled. The NLL will continue to review "various postseason scenarios."
  • 7:05 a.m.: The Korea Baseball Organization in South Korea is aiming for preseason play to restart April 21 with the regular season following in early May. "The recent downward trend has obviously impacted our discussions. As long as we can start the season in early May, we'll be able to finish everything by the end of November," KBO secretary general Ryu Dae-hwan said.


Tuesday, April 7

  • 8:40 p.m.: UFC 249 will reportedly take place at the Tachi Palace Casino Resort in Central California, which is on land owned by the Tachi-Yokut Tribe. Since the Tachi-Yokut Tribe is "part of the federally recognized Santa Rosa Indian Community," the decision to hold it there is "an attempted end run around widespread federal and state guidelines against holding large gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic, according to three people familiar with the decision," per Kevin Draper of the New York Times.
  • 3:58 p.m. ET: The NHL announced a third Colorado Avalanche player has tested positive for COVID-19. The player is in self-isolation and "has not had close contact" with any other Avalanche personnel.
  • 2:11 p.m. ET: The Canadian Grand Prix has been postponed. It was originally scheduled to take place June 12-14.
  • 10:34 a.m.: MLB released a statement saying it's "actively considering numerous contingency plans" for a potential resumption of play to begin the 2020 season. It downplayed reports about the advanced nature of those talks, however, stating there's no "detailed plan" in place.
  • 7:35 a.m.: The NBA informed teams they're "prohibited from conducting in-person workouts or interviews with draft-eligible players until further notice" because of the coronavirus. They also can't request recent workout tapes. All film must be from before play was suspended March 11.


Monday, April 6

  • 8:10 p.m.: The NBA and the NBA Players Association have explored the possibility of using rapid-result blood tests to determine if players have the coronavirus as it looks into different ways the season can resume.
  • 7:03 p.m.: During a conversation with Inside the NBA's Ernie Johnson, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said there will not be a decision made about potentially restarting the season until at least the end of April.
  • 6:02 p.m.: The Houston Open has been rescheduled for Nov. 2-8 to accommodate the Masters, which will be held Nov. 12-15.
  • 2:31 p.m. ET: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announces the league will hold a "fully virtual" draft from April 23-25 with league offices and team facilities closed.
  • 11:25 a.m. ET: Augusta National and the PGA Tour announced new dates for The Masters, U.S. Open and PGA Championship. The Masters will now be held Nov. 12-15, while the U.S. Open will take place Sept. 17-20. The PGA Championship has been penciled in for August 6-9.
  • 10:20 a.m.: The Open Championship announced the cancellation of the 2020 event, becoming the first golf major to cancel outright. This move follows Wimbledon also getting canceled, as the United Kingdom has (for the most part) chosen to cancel events rather than postpone them to an undetermined date.


Sunday, April 5

  • 11:26 p.m.: Aaron Bronsteter of TSN reported Islam Makhachev will not compete at UFC 249 on April 18, leaving Alexander Hernandez without an opponent, but the plan is the latter will remain on the card.


Saturday, April 4

  • 2:53 p.m.: On the call mentioned in the previous update, Trump told commissioners he "hopes" fans will be allowed back in arenas and stadiums by August and September. In turn, he believes it's possible the 2020 NFL season can start on time in September.
  • 2:10 p.m.: U.S. President Donald Trump held a call with commissioners from major sports leagues to discuss the response to COVID-19. He also "recognized the good work being done by many teams and players to care for their communities, workforces and fanbases."
  • 7:05 a.m.: CONCACAF announced the Nations League semifinals and final, which were scheduled to take place in early June, have been postponed. The matches will be "rescheduled to take place at a later date in venues to be determined."


Friday, April 3

  • 11:00 a.m.: The WNBA announced training camps and the start of the 2020 regular season, which was scheduled for May 15, have been postponed indefinitely.
  • 10:23 a.m.: The Premier League announced play will remain suspended indefinitely because of COVID-19 amid discussions about wage deferrals for players.
  • 10:12 a.m.: The University of Kentucky will build a 400-bed field hospital at Nutter Field House, the school's football practice and indoor track and field facility, to aid the coronavirus pandemic response.
  • 9:33 a.m.: The USGA announced the U.S. Women's Open, which was scheduled for June 4-7, has been postponed until Dec. 10-13 at the Champions Golf Club in Houston.
  • 3:29 a.m.: Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball and J-League announced they have extended the postponement of their respective seasons. Players from both leagues have tested positive for the coronavirus.


Thursday, April 2

  • 8:00 p.m.: Major League Soccer has extended the team training moratorium through April 24 with team facilities closed to all players and staff except for players requiring medical treatment.
  • 1:22 p.m.: The Denver Nuggets completed a 14-day isolation period after a member of their organization tested positive for COVID-19 on March 19, per Mark Medina of USA Today. That unnamed member is now symptom-free.
  • 6:00 a.m.: The New England Patriots' team plane was used to transport 1.2 million N95 masks for health care workers in Massachusetts.


Wednesday, April 1

  • 5:16 p.m.: The Philadelphia Union announced one of their players tested positive for the coronavirus.
  • 4:39 p.m.: The NCAA announced the recruiting dead period for Division I and Division II was extended to May 31.
  • 2:15 p.m.: The Ottawa Senators announced four additional members of the organization who traveled to California during the team's final road trip before the season was suspended tested positive for coronavirus. The team previously announced two members tested positive for the virus. Wednesday's announcement noted "all those who tested positive have recovered."
  • 11 a.m.: The All England Club announced the 2020 Wimbledon Championships have been canceled "due to public health concerns linked to the coronavirus epidemic." The 134th Championships will be held from June 28-July 11, 2021.
  • 10:16 a.m.: UEFA announced it has indefinitely suspended the Champions League, Europa League and Euro 2020 qualifying playoffs. UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin previously said the season could be "lost" if play doesn't resume before the end of June.
  • 10:10 a.m.: MLB canceled the 2020 London Series scheduled for June 13-14 between the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals.
  • 9:35 a.m.: Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks announced all four players who previously tested positive for coronavirus, including Kevin Durant, are now symptom-free.


Notable March Developments

  • March 30, 8:05 a.m.: The International Olympic Committee, International Paralympic Committee, Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee and Tokyo Metropolitan Government released a joint statement saying the Olympics are postponed until July 23 to Aug. 8, 2021. The Paralympic Games are postponed until Aug. 24 to Sept. 5, 2021.
  • March 20 6:06 a.m.: The Premier League extended its shutdown to April 30 "at the earliest."
  • March 17, 9:00 a.m.: The Kentucky Derby is postponed from May 2 to Sept. 5.
  • March 16, 12:15 p.m.: The NFL announced the draft will be televised on April 23-25 but all public events in Las Vegas are canceled.
  • March 13, 10:00 a.m.: The Masters announced the 2020 edition of its tournament is postponed.
  • March 12, 4:07 p.m.: The NCAA canceled all remaining winter and spring championships, including the men's and women's basketball tournaments.
  • March 12, 3:10 p.m.: MLB canceled spring training games and pushed back the start of its regular season.
  • March 12, 1:36 p.m.: The NHL suspended its 2019-20 season.
  • March 12, 11:42 a.m.: MLS suspended its 2020 season.
  • March 11, 9:31 p.m.: The NBA suspended its 2019-20 season.


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