The start of the season, originally slated to kick off March 26, will be delayed by at least two weeks, the MLB said in a statement.
“Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our players, employees and fans,” the statement said. “MLB will continue to undertake the precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts. We send our best wishes to all individuals and communities that have been impacted by coronavirus.”
The current spring training session ― a weekslong event in which spectators can watch players warm up for the upcoming season ― has also ceased. The 2020 World Baseball Classic Qualifier games in Tucson, Arizona, that were supposed to start Friday have also been postponed indefinitely.
The decision came after team owners gathered on a call with MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred to discuss how to proceed.
The MLB follows the NBA and the NHL, which are both currently in season, in suspending operations. The NBA’s announcement came Wednesday evening after a player on the Utah Jazz tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. The NHL followed suit Thursday morning.
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