Sports fans: Here’s how the coronavirus is affecting professional teams in the DMV

The World Series Champions will have to wait for opening day, the Washington Wizards won’t take the court and more sports news to know.

washington nationals player
Scott Taetsch / Getty Images

Stadiums with no fans. Fields with no practices. Seasons without championships. 

That’s the newfound reality for the sports world as the coronavirus outbreak in the United States surges across the industry, with two NBA players recently testing positive for the virus

From local club teams with budding players to the big leagues, here’s what to know about season cancellations, postponements and more. 

Washington Nationals
Coming off a wild ride of a World Series victory, the Washington Nationals will have to wait at least two extra weeks for opening day against the New York Mets. The remainder of all MLB spring training has been canceled, and the new opening day game is set for no earlier than Thursday, April 9 (with date and location subject to change).

Washington Wizards and Washington Mystics
The parent company of the men’s and women’s professional basketball teams, Monumental Sports & Entertainment, is abiding by the NBA’s suspension of the remainder of the season, as announced on March 12. The following day, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the organization would keep the suspension for a minimum of 30 days and reassess as the situation evolves. 

Washington Capitals
Following the NBA’s lead, the NHL also suspended the remainder of the hockey season. The Caps were ranked No. 1 in the NHL Metropolitan division with a record of 41-20-8. Their final game before the suspension was March 9 against the Buffalo Sabres, where the team lost 3-2

NCAA March Madness
The returning NCAA Champion Cavaliers from the University of Virginia (UVA) will not have a chance to defend their title, as NCAA has suspended the remainder of the season, and canceled all accompanying winter and spring tournaments. UVA won their first NCAA title in 2019, beating Michigan State 80-68. 

Per an announcement by Major League Soccer, the season will be suspended for a minimum of 30 days. DC United had its first match scheduled for April 11, and Loudoun United, coming back for its second season, had its first match scheduled for Wednesday, April 15. 

As for the National Women’s Soccer League, so far all preseason matches have been canceled. No word from the league about a full season suspension as of March 13. The Washington Spirit, which is set to play four regular season games at Segra Field in Leesburg for the first time this season, has its first game scheduled for Saturday, April 18. 

Old Glory DC (Major League Rugby)
The DC-based professional rugby team will not be able to take the field for a minimum of 30 days, according to a recent announcement by Major League Rugby. The suspension will be up for assessment as the situation continues to evolve prior to Sunday, April 12. Old Glory DC had started the season with a 4-1 record.

For more on the local impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in the DMV, check out our resources.

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