Coronavirus Impacting Sports: Tracking the Latest May Updates

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMay 1, 2020

HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 20:  A detailed view of the UFC Championship belt prior to the UFC on Fox: Velasquez v Dos Santos - Press Conference at W Hollywood on September 20, 2011 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic continues to have a profound impact on the sports world, with most leagues and organizations remaining on hiatus or having to cancel their seasons.

According to the World Health Organization, there were over 5.7 million confirmed cases and more than 357,600 deaths worldwide as of May 29.

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


May 29

  • 10:39 a.m.: The 2019-20 La Liga season will resume June 11.


May 28

  • 2:39 p.m.: The Boston Marathon announced the actual race is canceled and will instead be a virtual event in which runners can still receive an official program, participant t-shirt, medal and runner's bib if they complete the 26.2-mile distance within six hours.  
  • 1:55 p.m.: The John Deere Classic, scheduled for July 9-12, was canceled.
  • 11:06 a.m.: The Premier League will resume its 2019-20 season June 17.


May 27

  • 7:49 p.m.: Jerry Colangelo, the chairman of the board of the governors for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, said the enshrinement ceremonies for the Class of 2020 will be moved to spring of 2021. The star-studded class features Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett.


May 25

  • 5:01 p.m.: The NHL announced the parameters of its Return To Play Plan, which will involve 24 teams participating in an expanded postseason format in two to-be-determined hub cities. The playoff start date has not been decided, but NHL training camps in preparation for the season's conclusion will occur no earlier than the first half of July "after guidance from medical and civil authorities." In addition, the seven teams that have not made the playoffs will assume the top seven spots in the upcoming draft lottery, which is slated for Friday, June 26.
  • 10:50 a.m.: The NHL sent a memo to its teams stating it hopes to begin Phase 2 of its plan to resume the season in early June. Under Phase 2, no more than six players will be allowed at team facilities at once, and coaches and staff members will not be permitted during on-ice drills.
  • 7:16 a.m.: The EuroLeague and EuroCup seasons have been canceled for 2019-20, and no trophy will be awarded. The Euroleague Basketball Adidas Next Generation Tournament and EuroLeague Academy have also been canceled.


May 24

  • 12:11 p.m.: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced professional sports leagues inside the state can start spring training as of Sunday.

May 23

  • 12:34 p.m.: The NBA announced it was engaged in "exploratory discussions" with Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, about hosting the league as it considers whether to restart its season. 
  • 8:46 a.m.: Spanish government gave the go-ahead for La Liga to resume its season as soon as June 8, while following guidelines put forth by the Ministry of Health. ESPN's Samuel Marsden noted play will likely begin on June 12 or 19, with confirmation from league president Javier Tebas potentially coming on Sunday. 

May 22

  • 6:47 p.m.: New York Knicks legend and Georgetown basketball head coach Patrick Ewing announced he tested positive for COVID-19 and is isolated at a hospital. 
  • 12:20 p.m.: Liga MX announced its 2020 Clausura season has been canceled and no champion will be crowned. 


May 21

  • 4:39 p.m.: The UFC announced its June 20 event in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, has been canceled. Its June 27 event in Austin, Texas, was also canceled.                


May 20

  • 3:55 p.m.: The NCAA Division I Council voted to allow football, men's basketball and women's basketball players back to campuses between June 1-30, effectively ending the moratorium on athletic activities, per Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports. However, schools will make their own decisions on student-athletes' returns in accordance with state and local government rules, as well as those of athletic conferences and university officials. Other sports will be addressed "as soon as possible," per Thamel.


May 19

  • 2:43 p.m.: Major League Soccer announced that its All-Star Game, Leagues Cup and Campeones Cup have been canceled. All three events are scheduled to return in 2021.
  • 11:46 a.m.: The 2020 Belmont Stakes will be run June 20 without fans in attendance. The distance will be lowered from 1½ miles to 1 miles.
  • 7:33 a.m.: World Team Tennis CEO Carlos Silva said the league is on track to open its 2020 season July 12. A host city hasn't been selected.


May 18

  • 3:58 p.m.: The BIG3 announced it has canceled its 2020 season because of COVID-19. The league intends to return in the summer of 2021.
  • 3:15 p.m.: California Governor Gavin Newsom announced professional sports could return to the state, without fans, by the first week of June.
  • 12:15 p.m.: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the state will be supportive of professional sports teams that are interested in playing, as long as the teams can make it work safely.


May 17

  • 12:25 a.m.: UFC President Dana White said the plan is to hold May 30's UFC card in Las Vegas with Arizona as a backup plan.


May 15

  • 10:52 a.m.: The three professional tennis tours (ATP, WTA and ITF) have canceled all events through at least the end of July.
  • 8:18 a.m.: The 2020 Tour of Britain has been postponed until September 5-12, 2021.
  • 7:34 a.m.: FIBA announced the remaining men's basketball qualifying tournaments for the 2021 Olympics have been postponed until June 29 through July 4, 2021. Those dates could conflict with an ongoing NBA season if the start of the league's 2020-21 campaign is delayed.


May 13

  • 2:03 p.m.: The Drew League announced its 2020 season has been canceled because of the pandemic.
  • 7:04 a.m.: Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced professional sports are cleared to resume in the state beginning Saturday. Fans won't be allowed to attend at the outset.
  • 12:14 a.m.Japanese sumo wrestler Kiyotaka Suetake, also known as Shobushi, died of multiple organ failure after contracting pneumonia due to COVID-19.


May 12

  • 3:09 p.m.: The NBA canceled its 2020 G League Elite Camp.
  • 2:01 p.m.: The NCAA announced it canceled both sessions of the NCAA College Basketball Academy that was scheduled to take place from July 20-26 at the regional sites of the University of Utah, Winthrop University, Wichita State University and the University of Connecticut. A number of coaches were expected to attend the developmental event for prospective student-athletes from the classes of 2021, 2022 and 2023.
  • 7:37 a.m.: The AHL, the top minor-league affiliate league of the NHL, announced completing its 2019-20 season is "not feasible." The remaining games have been canceled.


May 8

  • 10:15 p.m.: The UFC announced that Jacare Souza, who was scheduled to fight Uriah Hall in a middleweight bout on the UFC 249 card on Saturday, has tested positive for COVID-19. Two of Souza's cornermen have also tested positive. Hall and the 22 fighters still on the card all tested negative, and UFC 249 is scheduled to go on as planned in Jacksonville, Florida.
  • 12:54 p.m.: NASCAR has removed races at Chicagoland Speedway, Sonoma Raceway and Richmond Raceway from its restructured 2020 Cup Series schedule.
  • 9:06 a.m.: The NHL and the NHLPA released a joint statement to announce the 2020 Global Series, which would have featured games in four European countries, has been postponed.
  • 7:58 a.m.: The 2020 IndyCar Series season will start June 6 at Texas Motor Speedway and feature a condensed schedule. Fans won't be permitted in attendance initially.


May 7

  • 8:32 p.m.: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell issued a statement regarding the league's schedule release, noting "we will be prepared to make adjustments as necessary." He also said "we will continue to make our decisions based on the latest medical and public health advice, in compliance with government regulations, and with appropriate safety protocols to protect the health of our fans, players, club and league personnel, and our communities."
  • 11:55 a.m.: Longtime Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said the company's boxing cards with resume in June with "top fighters, really top fights." There will be no fans in attendance with events likely held in Las Vegas.


May 6

  • 3:56 p.m.: Major League Soccer announced the Atlanta United, Houston Dynamo, Inter Miami, Orlando City, Portland Timbers and Sporting Kansas City returned to team facilities for individual workouts.
  • 2:27 p.m.The Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets each plan to open their team facilities on Friday after the NBA issued a memo stating teams could reopen in locations that have eased stay-at-home orders. The Houston Rockets plan to open up their facilities on May 18.
  • 11:47 a.m.: The International Golf Federation announced the men's and women's 2020 World Amateur Team Championships have been canceled. They were scheduled for October.
  • 9:55 a.m.: The German Bundesliga has received clearance to become the first major European soccer league to resume play this month. The resumption could occur as early as May 15.


May 5

  • 2:58 p.m.: The BIG3 basketball league has delayed a preseason tournament, which was going to serve as the backdrop for a quarantine reality show amid COVID-19, to August or September and the start of its regular season from June 20 until the "fall or winter," per USA Today.
  • 1:25 p.m.: The 2020 French Open tennis tournament has been delayed an additional week. The event will now run from Sept. 27 through Oct. 11. Qualifying begins Sept. 21.
  • 10:15 a.m.: The Korea Baseball Organization started its 2020 season Tuesday without fans in attendance.


May 4

  • 8:29 p.m.: UFC announced UFC 251, which was scheduled for June 7 in Perth, Western Australia, was postponed.


May 2

  • 9:10 a.m.: The NFL confirmed it will release its 2020 schedule "late next week" without any changes to dates for season openers or Super Bowl 55.


May 1     

  • 4:49 p.m.: The NBA announces this year's draft lottery and scouting combine have been postponed indefinitely.
  • 3:44 p.m.: Prestigious fighting game tournament Evolution Championship Series, also known as Evo, has canceled its in-person event, replacing it with an online-only format.
  • 3:09 p.m.: The Oakland Athletics announced the death of 30-year-old former minor leaguer Miguel Marte because of coronavirus complications.


Notable April Developments

  • April 30, 3:25 p.m.: The 2020 Little League World Series has been canceled.
  • April 29, 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.
  • 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.
  • April 22, 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 is focused on trying to identify one home arena from each division to play the remaining games if the season resumes.
  • April 21, 9 a.m.: The Scripps National Spelling Bee has been canceled, marking the first time since 1945 that the event has not been held.
  • April 10, 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.
  • April 6, 11:25 a.m.: Augusta National and the PGA Tour announced new dates for The Masters, U.S. Open and PGA Championship. The Masters will take place Nov. 12-15, while the U.S. Open will be held from Sept. 17 to 20. The PGA Championship is now scheduled for August 6-9.
  • April 4, 2:53 p.m.: President Donald Trump told commissioners from major sports leagues he "hopes" fans will be allowed in arenas by August and September. He also expressed belief the 2020 NFL season will be able to start on time.


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 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 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.