Coronavirus’ impact on the sports world today, hour by hour

The NHL, MLS and ATP were among the first professional leagues to postpone events Thursday, while the NCAA canceled March Madness and spring competition.
The seating area at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Thursday, March 12, 2020, in Indianapolis, after the Big Ten Conference announced that remainder of the men's NCAA college basketball games tournament was canceled.
The seating area at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Thursday, March 12, 2020, in Indianapolis, after the Big Ten Conference announced that remainder of the men's NCAA college basketball games tournament was canceled. [ MICHAEL CONROY | AP ]
Published March 12, 2020|Updated March 13, 2020

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TAMPA — A day after the NBA postponed its season amid its first player who tested positive and the NCAA announced basketball tournament games will be played without fans, more leagues took action on Thursday.

Here’s a minute-by-minute look.

9:43 a.m:

General admission is canceled at this week’s Grand Prix of St. Petersburg with an announcement coming later today about whether the race will be run at all.

9:54 a.m.:

The NHL advises teams against conducting morning skates, practices or team meetings on Thursday.

10:32 a.m.:

The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) announces it a six-week suspension of the men’s pro tour, including a popular annual event in Miami that was scheduled to begin on March 25.

10:49 a.m:

ESPN reports that a second NBA player, Jazz star Donovan Mitchell, has tested positive for coronavirus. Mitchell’s teammate, Rudy Gobert, tested positive on Wednesday, prompting the league to postpone the season.

11:15 a.m.:

XFL games scheduled for this weekend are still slated to be played but league officials are discussing how to proceed. Teams playing this on Saturday would need to travel Friday at the latest. The Vipers are scheduled to host the St. Louis Battlehawks on Saturday at Raymond James.

11:25 a.m.:

The Washington NFL football team announces it is suspending all travel for the team’s coaches and scouts until further notice.

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The Bucs followed suit, discontinuing all travel for scouts, coaches and other team personnel.

11:42 a.m.:

Major League Soccer announces it will suspend its season 30 days.

11:47 a.m.:

Less than two hours before USF was supposed to play the first game of the AAC conference tournament, the league canceled it. The SEC also canceled its conference tournament.

11:49 a.m.:

The Big Ten cancels the remainder of its conference tournament. Nebraska coach Fred Hoiberg left Thursday’s game and was hospitalized. He as diagnosed with influenza-A, but not before his players were kept in quarantine in the arena.

11:57 a.m.:

After discussions with President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the PGA announces The Players Championship, held this weekend in Ponte Vedra Beach, will be played without fans starting Friday. Fans were allowed to attend Thursday.

The Valspar Championship, scheduled to be played locally next weekend at Innisbrook, will be held without fans in attendance.

12:03 p.m.:

With less than 30 minutes before their scheduled tip in the ACC tournament quarterfinals, top seed Florida State leaves the court abruptly.

12:15 p.m.

The ACC cancels its conference tournament.

12:27 p.m:

The Tampa Bay Rowdies’ season comes to a halt as the USL suspends play for a minimum of 30 days.

1:15 p.m.

Major League Baseball is expected to suspend spring training games in Florida and Arizona and will likely delay the beginning of the regular season.

1:35 p.m.

The NHL announces it will “pause” its season starting with Thursday night’s games.

1:49 p.m.:

Duke University suspends all athletic activities indefinitely, essentially pulling out of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

2:24 p.m.

The NFL will cancel its annual spring league meetings, which were slated for March 29-April 1 in West Palm Beach.

3:09 p.m.:

Major League Baseball announces that it is canceling the remainder of spring training games and will delay the beginning of the regular season by at least two weeks.

3:51 p.m.:

Minor League Baseball announces the beginning if its season will be delayed.

4:16 p.m.:

A huge domino falls as the NCAA cancels the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments — Tampa was to host the first and second rounds of the men’s tournament on March 19 and 21 — as well as all remaining winter and spring championships. The year in college sports is basically over.

7:19 p.m.:

The XFL announces it will not play the remaining five weeks of its regular season. The Vipers, who were slated to host the St. Louis Battlehawks on Saturday, end their first season with a 1-4 record. The league vows it will return in 2021.

9:59 p.m.:

The PGA Tour, which planned to continue The Players Championship on Friday without fans, announces it is canceling all events through the Valero Texas Open, which was scheduled to be played April 2-5.

That includes the cancelation of next week’s Valspar Championship at Innisbrook.

• • •

Tampa Bay Times coronavirus guide

Q&A: The latest and all your questions answered.

PROTECT YOURSELF: Household cleaners can kill the virus on most surfaces, including your phone screen.

BE PREPARED: Guidelines for essentials to keep in your home should you have to stay inside.

STOCK UP YOUR PANTRY: Foods that should always be in your kitchen, for emergencies and everyday life.

FACE MASKS: They offer some protection, but studies debate their effectiveness.

WORKPLACE RISK: A list of five things employers could be doing to help curb the spread of the disease.

READER BEWARE: Look out for bad information as false claims are spreading online.



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