Coronavirus Update 3/27: IndyCar Moves Indianapolis 500 from May 24 to Aug. 23; MLB Reportedly Cancels London Series

In light of the CDC’s recent recommendations for curbing the spread of the coronavirus, pro sports leagues continue to postpone or cancel seasons and events. A few weeks ago, SVG began posting a regularly updated list of announcements from pro leagues regarding postponed, canceled, or altered events. Below are further announcements, made on Thursday, March 27. Stay tuned to sportsvideo.org for more information on how the spread of the coronavirus is impacting the sports-production industry.

Indianapolis 500 Pushed Back Three Months to Aug. 23
Memorial Day Weekend will look quite different for fans of the IndyCar circuit. An annual holiday staple since 1946, the coronavirus pandemic has forced the organization to move the Indianapolis 500 from May 24 to August 23. Prior to this decision, IndyCar was planning on starting their 2020 slate on May 9 on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s (IMS) road course, but now barring any additional changes, the tentative start will now be May 30 in Detroit.

“The month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is my favorite time of year, and like our fans, I am disappointed that we have had to reschedule the Indianapolis 500,” said Roger Penske, who purchased IndyCar and IMS earlier this year, in a statement. “However, the health and safety of our event participants and spectators is our top priority, and we believe that postponing the event is the responsible decision with the conditions and restrictions we are facing.”

If the race was to not be held this year, it will only be the fifth time since its inception in 1911. The other four times were due to World War I in 1917 and 1918 and World War II in 1944 and 1945.

Report: MLB Gives the Axe to 2020 London Series
According to The Sun, the 2020 MLB London Series is the latest high-profile sporting event to be canceled by the coronavirus. The two-game series, on June 13-14, was scheduled to pit NL Central-rivals St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs in West Ham United’s London Stadium.

MLB made a two-year agreement with the European soccer club to host this specialty game. Last year, the New York Yankees and. Boston Red Sox squared off in the English capital.

Wilder-Fury 3.0 Moved to Later Date
Although the third bout between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder will eventually happen, it will not be happening on its scheduled date of July 18. The fight was supposed to be held in MGM Grand, but due to the spread of the pandemic, the company decided to close all of its properties in Las Vegas on March 17.

The rescheduled date is yet to be determined.

2020 WNBA Draft Turns to Virtual Setting
The WNBA Draft is moving forward as planned, but not in its normal environment. Scheduled for April 17 at 7 p.m. ET, the WNBA will host a virtual version of the 2020 Draft on ESPN, where WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert will announce the selections along with live, remote interactions with top picks.

“The WNBA Draft is a time to celebrate the exceptional athletes whose hard work and dreams are realized with their selections in the draft,” said Engelbert in a statement. “Safeguarding the health and well-being of our prospects, players, employees, and everyone connected to our game as well as the general public is paramount. With that in mind, we will work diligently with our broadcast partner, ESPN, to create a memorable but virtual event that appropriately honors these accomplished athletes.”