Sports Pandemic Update

By  | 


UNDATED (AP) - The Preakness is looking for a new date for the Triple Crown race normally held on the third Saturday in May. The owners of Pimlico Race Course and the Maryland Jockey Club have also decided to cancel the infield party on race day.

The Preakness usually draws more than 100,000 fans, most of whom gather on the infield, where patrons can enjoy beer, food and free concerts.

The Kentucky Derby was previously postponed from May 2 to Sept. 5. No decision has yet been made on the Belmont Stakes, which is scheduled for June 6 at Belmont Park in New York.

In other developments related to the pandemic:

- The U.S. Women's Open is moving from the end of spring to the middle of December. The USGA says the Women's Open at Champions Golf Club in Houston is moving from June 4-7 to Dec. 10-13. That would be the latest a major championship is played. It also would be the first time an official LPGA Tour event was held entirely in December since 2010. The LPGA has also postponed or canceled the next five events on its schedule. All but the Pure Silk Championship are getting new dates later in the year.

- The WNBA has postponed the start of its season because of the coronavirus pandemic. The league was set to open training camps on April 26 and the regular season was to begin on May 15. The WNBA will still hold a “virtual” draft on April 17. Two WNBA cities are major hot spots for the virus: New York and Seattle. The WNBA, which was set to begin its 24th season, is the longest running professional women's sports league.

- The International Swimming League will fund its athletes through next year's rescheduled Tokyo Olympics, starting with payments in September. The league says every athlete who has signed or will sign a contract with an ISL club will receive an equal amount of money per month. No financial details were provided. The ISL also plans a five-week combined training and competition event this year from Oct. 14 to Nov. 17 at a site yet to be determined depending on developments involving the coronavirus pandemic. The ISL will pay all expenses involving the event.

- The Carolina Hurricanes are putting more than half of full-time staff on furlough through June 7 while taking steps they said would ensure affected employees don’t lose income amid the coronavirus pandemic that has led to the suspension of the NHL season. The team says the furlough applies to about 55% of full-time employees, who would be directed to access unemployment benefits through the government’s $2.2 trillion economic rescue package. Furloughed employees ineligible to collect full base salaries through unemployment would receive a bonus from the organization when the furlough ends.

- The Ottawa Senators are making temporary layoffs and salary reductions because of COVID-19. The team’s parent company says the full-time workforce will be reduced starting Sunday, when the NHL club’s season was originally scheduled to end. Those not laid off could be placed on furlough. Others could have their salaries reduced. Health benefits will continue uninterrupted.

- Anaheim Ducks owners Henry and Susan Samueli say they will pay their 2,100 part-time employees across all of their sports and event management companies through June 30 for work that was wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic. The Samuelis’ Anaheim Arena Management company operates Honda Center, the Ducks’ home rink. They also own two large ice hockey complexes in Orange County - including Great Park Ice, the massive new winter sports facility that houses the Ducks’ training complex in Irvine, California.

- Major League Soccer has extended its training moratorium through April 24 because of the coronavirus outbreak. Team facilities are closed to players and staff - except for players requiring treatment that cannot be administered at their homes. Players are expected to remain in market with their teams during the moratorium to avoid the spread of the virus. The league will consider individual requests for players to travel to another city by car. MLS teams were two games into the season when it was suspended on March 12. A Philadelphia Union player with mild symptoms recently tested positive for the virus.

- Days after the NFL revealed its hopes of conducting a normal regular season and playoffs, its chief medical officer is warning that nothing is a certainty during the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Allen Sills, a neurosurgeon who has been with the NFL since 2017, says he and other league and team medical personnel have been in constant communication with health officials throughout the country, looking at the same data they are using to make public recommendations. The NFL also has consulted with the other major sports leagues and the players’ union.

- The PGA Tour executive who oversees player activity is the first PGA Tour employee to have tested positive for COVID-19. Ross Berlin, the tour’s senior vice president of player affairs, says he was self-isolating after The Players Championship was canceled when he complained of losing his sense of taste and smell.

- Philadelphia 76ers owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer, along with All-Star center Joel Embiid (joh-EHL' ehm-BEED'), have made a combined contribution of $1.3 million to Penn Medicine. The money established a funding campaign for COVID-19 antibody testing of front-line health care workers.

- Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper is donating $500,000 to help coronavirus relief efforts in his hometown of Las Vegas and in Philadelphia. Harper and his wife, Kayla, are giving money to Direct Relief and Three Square in Las Vegas and Philabundance in Philadelphia.

- The Tour de Suisse has been canceled, removing one of the few cycling events left on the calendar before the Tour de France is due to start. The nine-day Swiss race was scheduled to run from June 6-14 and was designed to give riders a chance to prepare for the three-week Tour de France. The French race is still scheduled to start on June 27.

- The under-construction Athletes Village for the Tokyo Olympics could be used as a temporary hospital for coronavirus patients. Tokyo’s governor has been talking about the possibility of occupying the massive development on Tokyo Bay, which is to house up to 11,000 Olympic and 4,400 Paralympic athletes and staff during the games. The complex, which will eventually include 24 buildings, is expected to remain unoccupied with the Olympics delayed for 16 months.

- Former marathon world record holder Wilson Kipsang was among 20 people arrested in Kenya for locking themselves in a bar and drinking alcohol in breach of a curfew imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Police say the 2012 Olympic bronze medalist was among those detained at a police station in Iten, one of Kenya’s famous high-altitude towns where distance runners train.

- NBC’s Mike Tirico is returning to hosting a daily talk show, which will focus on the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the sports world. The hour-long “Lunch Talk Live” will air weekdays beginning at noon EDT on NBCSN. Tirico will host the show remotely from his home in Michigan.



 
Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station. powered by Disqus