Coronavirus: Baseball Hall of Fame closing indefinitely; Nevada suspends combat sports

The National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., can accommodate as many as 3,000 visitors per day during its peak season. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
The National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., can accommodate as many as 3,000 visitors per day during its peak season. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

March 15 (UPI) -- The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y., announced it will indefinitely shut its doors to the public in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement released Saturday, the Baseball Hall of Fame said it will begin its temporary closure Sunday at 5 p.m. EDT.


"This precautionary measure is being implemented in accordance with recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and government officials to limit opportunities for large gatherings and the further spread of the COVID-19 virus," the statement said.

The Hall of Fame is usually open every day of the year, with the exceptions being Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. According to the baseball museum's website, it can accommodate as many as 3,000 visitors each day during its peak season.


The Baseball Hall of Fame's induction weekend, the most high-profile event on its annual calendar, is slated to take place from July 24 to 27. The Induction Day ceremonies are scheduled for July 26, when players Derek Jeter, Larry Walker, Ted Simmons and the late Marvin Miller, former president of the MLB Players Association, will be enshrined.

The Hall of Fame said it will provide updates on its official website and social media accounts at noon EDT every Sunday beginning March 22.

Meanwhile, the Nevada State Athletic Commission on Saturday voted to suspend all combat sports events in the state until March 25 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The commission is scheduled to meet March 25. At that time, the commissioners will vote on the status of events after that date. Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Bob Bennett was tasked with providing recommendations to the commission on how to best move forward at the next meeting.

"I've been in constant contact with a litany of doctors and medical professionals and am intimately familiar with all professional and amateur sports events being suspended at this point in time for an undetermined period," NSAC executive director Bob Bennett told ESPN.


"I will continue to collect information and speak with various medical experts and be prepared to provide the information to the chairman and commissioners on March 25."

A popular amateur MMA event, Tuff-N-Uff, was called off Saturday night in Las Vegas because of the vote.

UFC president Dana White said last week that the promotion would attempt to move events scheduled for March 28 and April 11 to its Apex facility in Las Vegas. After the Nevada State Athletic Commission's decision, the UFC is planning to move those cards elsewhere.

The UFC's Fight Night event scheduled for March 21 in London, which was to be headlined by a welterweight fight between Tyron Woodley and Leon Edwards, also will be moved to an undisclosed venue in the United States. According to ESPN, the main event bout between Woodley and Edwards won't take place.

"Obviously, things are changing by the hour," White told ESPN Saturday night. "[Saturday] morning, they announced new travel restrictions for the U.K., so [the March 21 event] can't continue in London. ... We're working on finding a new venue, likely in the United States, and I have my matchmakers literally working right now to put together the undercard."


A Showtime boxing card headlined by Luis Nery and Aaron Alameda is also scheduled for March 28 at Park MGM in Las Vegas.

Pistons' Christian Wood tests positive for coronavirus

Detroit Pistons big man Christian Wood, 24, became the third known player in the NBA to test positive for COVID-19, ESPN reported Saturday. He joined Utah Jazz stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell as players who tested positive for the virus.

The Pistons issued a statement later Saturday that confirmed a player on the team tested positive. The franchise didn't identify him by name, but said the player would "remain in isolation and under the care of team medical staff."

Wood scored 30 points in the Pistons' game against the Jazz on March 7. He frequently matched up with Gobert in that game.

Gobert became the first NBA player to test positive for the coronavirus shortly before tip-off of Wednesday's game between the Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder. Shortly later, the NBA suspended its season for a minimum of 30 days.

New NFL league year to start on time


The new NFL league year will start on time this week despite concerns about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, league sources told ESPN and NFL Media on Sunday.

The league informed teams in a memo that the NFL off-season schedule will continue, according to NFL Media. Legal tampering for free agents is scheduled to begin at noon EDT Monday, and the new league year starts Wednesday at 4 p.m. EDT.

Coronavirus impacts La Liga players

Valencia's Argentinian defender Ezequiel Garay became the first La Liga player to test positive for the coronavirus, with the Spanish club confirming they have five positive cases.

Garay, 33, announced Sunday on social media that he is in isolation. He posted a photo on Instagram with the caption: "It's clear that I started 2020 on the wrong foot."

La Liga declared last week that Spain's first and second divisions were suspended for at least the next two rounds because of the disease.

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