The wait for the MLB’s Opening Day will now be a little bit longer.
Days after league officials announced that Spring Training would be cancelled and Opening Day was being pushed back at least two weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic, new health and safety protocols have pushed the potential start date back even further.
“Following last night’s newly updated recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) restricting events of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks, the opening of the 2020 regular season will be pushed back in accordance with that guideline,” the MLB shared in an official statement.
“MLB will keep fans updated on decisions regarding plans for the 2020 schedule in the days and weeks ahead. The Clubs remain committed to playing as many games as possible when the season begins. We will continue to monitor ongoing events and undertake the precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts, and urge all baseball fans to follow suit. MLB extends its best wishes to all the individuals and communities who have been impacted by the coronavirus.”
The decision was made following a Monday conference call with MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred and representatives from all 30 clubs in the league.
While all major U.S. sports leagues have been postponed for the time being, the MLB is the first and only thus far to be put on hold until May. The NBA, which was the first league to suspend its current season after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19, has agreed it will be on hiatus for at least 30 days. Meanwhile, the NHL responded to the CDC’s new measures by announcing that players should self-quarantine until March 27 and report any possible symptoms to team staff. The league maintained that it will follow continuous updates regarding the pandemic but ultimately hopes to open up voluntary training sessions for small groups of players following the quarantine period.
See a complete list of all impacted leagues and individual live events that have been impacted by the coronavirus here.