(CBS SF) — MLB announced today that all remaining Spring Training games will be cancelled in response to the coronavirus pandemic and unfolding national emergency. The suspension in both the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues, in Florida and Arizona respectively, began Thursday afternoon.
Opening Day, previously set for March 26, will be delayed by at least two weeks. Both actions, according to the League’s statement, are “being taken in the interests of the safety and well-being of our players, clubs and our millions of loyal fans.” MLB will continue to monitor events as the tentative April 9 start date approaches.
The Oakland A’s were originally scheduled to play 11 more Spring Training games in the lead up to their first regular-season game with the Minnesota Twins. The San Francisco Giants had 12 remaining Spring Training games, with their regular season to start against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The announcement comes in the wake of the rapid spread and on the heals of similar announcements from other major sports leagues. The NBA, NHL and MLS have all suspended their regular seasons. Soon after MLB suspended its season, the NCAA cancelled the NCAA Tournament.
MLB’s statement went on to specify that “MLB and the Clubs have been preparing a variety of contingency plans regarding the 2020 regular season schedule. MLB will announce the effects on the schedule at an appropriate time and will remain flexible as events warrant, with the hope of resuming normal operations as soon as possible.”
Statement from Major League Baseball: pic.twitter.com/0bWS5VTRPu
— MLB (@MLB) March 12, 2020