Coronavirus Update 3/13: The Masters, NASCAR, IndyCar, European Soccer Postponed; UFC Moves U.S. Fights to Training Facility
Pro sports leagues have began postponing or cancelling their seasons and events as a result of the coronavirus pandemic this week. On Thursday, SVG began posting a regularly updated list of announcements from pro leagues regarding postponed, cancelled, or altered sporting events. Below are further announcements made on Friday, March 13. Stay tuned to sportsvideo.org for more information on how the spread of the coronavirus is impacting the sports-production industry.
Augusta National Postpones Masters Tournament
The Masters Tournament, which was scheduled for April 9-12, will be postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak, Augusta National officials announced Friday morning. The full memo is as follows:
On Wednesday, March 4, we issued a memo stating that our plans to host the Masters Tournament, the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals had not changed. Unfortunately, the ever-increasing risks associated with the widespread Coronavirus COVID-19 have led us to a decision that undoubtedly will be disappointing to many, although I am confident is appropriate under these unique circumstances.
Considering the latest information and expert analysis, we have decided at this time to postpone the Masters Tournament, the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals.
Ultimately, the health and well-being of everyone associated with these events and the citizens of the Augusta community led us to this decision. We hope this postponement puts us in the best position to safely host the Masters Tournament and our amateur events at some later date.
We will continue to work with the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Office of the Governor, the Georgia Department of Public Health, the City of Augusta and all other local authorities. We are grateful to all of these entities for their exceptional efforts and guidance.
We recognize this decision will affect many people, including our loyal patrons. Your patience as we make every effort to communicate effectively and efficiently is appreciated, and we will share any additional information as soon as it becomes available. Updates also will be posted to our website, Masters.com.
As COVID-19 continues to impact the lives of people everywhere, we seek your understanding of this decision and know you share our concern given these trying times. Thank you for your faithful support.
NASCAR Postpones Next Two Races, NTT IndyCar Series Cancels Events Through April
The motorsports community is now feeling the effects of the coronavirus outbreak. NASCAR announced that they are postponing races over the next two weekends, including events at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The NTT IndyCar Series, however, has moved forward with canceling all races through the month of April.
European Soccer Leagues, Competitions Postponed
As the situation worsens in the United States, Europe is still dealing with the coronavirus as well. In the wake of these developments, multiple soccer organizations and competitions are being altered.
For the continent as a whole, the UEFA Champions League and Europa League are both being suspended.
In England, the entire game of soccer is being put on hold by the FA and other governing bodies in the country, which means domestic competitions like the Premier League, Women’s Super League, and Women’s Championship are all postponed.
In Germany, the DFL has decided to postpone this weekend’s matches in the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga. The DFL is suggesting that the league pause all activities until April 2.
UFC Goes Ahead With All Upcoming Matches
Despite multiple professional leagues ceasing operations for the foreseeable future, UFC is still planning on holding the next three fights on their schedule.
UFC Fight Night 170, hosted in Brazil on Saturday, March 14, will not have any fans in attendance as the Brazilian government is prohibiting large gatherings of over 100 people. As for next weekend’s UFC Fight Night 171 in London’s O2 Arena, fans will be allowed inside of the venue to experience the fight in-person.
As fights move stateside, precautions are being put into place. Instead of having these main events in populated U.S. cities, the UFC has officially moved two fights to the UFC APEX Facility in Las Vegas: UFC Fight Night: Ngannou vs. Rozenstrui in Columbus, OH’s Nationwide Arena on Saturday, March 28 and UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Harris in Portland’s Moda Center on Saturday, April 11. Fans will not be able to attend those matches.