The Latest: Gathering limits in Seattle to affect Mariners
The Latest on the coronavirus outbreak’s affect on sports around the globe (all times EDT):
The Mariners will move home games from Seattle through end of March following the state of Washington’s decision to ban large group events in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Seattle had been scheduled to open the season at Safeco Field with a four-game series against Texas from March 26-29, then host Minnesota in a three-game series from March 30 through April 1.
The Mariners say they are working with the commissioner’s office on alternative plans.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Wednesday announced a ban on all large gatherings in the three counties of the Seattle metro area through at least the end of March.
That decision affects the Seattle Mariners’ first seven games of the season, when they host the Texas Rangers and Minnesota Twins. It also applies to home games for the MLS Seattle Sounders, XFL Seattle Dragons and a pair of junior hockey teams in the area.
The restrictions do not include Spokane, where NCAA Tournament games are scheduled to take place next week. The men’s first and second rounds are being played at the Spokane Arena, while early rounds of the women’s tournament could end up being played on campus at Gonzaga.
Stanford is still willing to host the NCAA women’s basketball tournament with a strict limit on spectators if selected to do so next week.
The school in Northern California said Wednesday that all sporting events on campus will be closed to the public through May 15 or until further notice in response to the spread of the new coronavirus.
Only participants, coaches, working staff, officials, credentialed media and a very limited number of family members, friends and guests of the competing teams will be allowed to attend. Santa Clara County announced a ban earlier this week of gatherings of more than 1,000 people.
The seventh-ranked Cardinal were expected to be picked as a host for the tournament that starts March 20. The top 16 teams are picked as hosts of the opening two rounds.
The NCAA didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
— reporting by Josh Dubow
One of college basketball’s postseason invitational tournaments has been canceled.
Organizers of the College Basketball Invitational, widely known as the CBI, say they’ve decided to cancel this year’s event because of the “uncertainty about the coronavirus and the impact it is having on college campuses across the country.”
The tournament is played at campus sites for teams that aren’t invited to the NCAA Tournament or the NIT.
The statement issued Wednesday says officials look forward to bringing back the CBI in 2021.
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told a congressional committee Wednesday that he would recommend the NBA not allow fans at games in response to the coronavirus.
That answer by Dr. Anthony Fauci came hours before NBA owners are scheduled to meet to discuss the next steps in responding to the growing concern about the virus.
Fauci was responding to a question from Rep. Glenn Grothman, a Wisconsin Republican, during a meeting of the House Oversight Committee. Grothman asked, “Is the NBA underreacting or is the Ivy League overreacting?” He was referencing how the Ivy League recently canceled its basketball tournaments, instead of having them played without fans in attendance or keeping the status quo.
“We would recommend that there not be large crowds,” Fauci said. “If that means not having any people in the audience when the NBA plays, so be it. But as a public health official, anything that has crowds is something that would give a risk to spread.”