MLB Delays Regular Season Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

MLB  - Opening Day between the Miami Marlins and the Chicago Cubs - March 29, 2018 -Getty-H 2018
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Spring training was underway, with the regular season to kick off at the end of the month.

Major League Baseball is canceling spring training and will delay the start of the regular season because of the coronavirus outbreak. 

Spring training was underway, with the regular season to kick off at the end of the month. The season will be delayed at least two weeks. 

"MLB and the clubs have been preparing a variety of contingency plans regarding the 2020 regular season schedule. MLB will announce the effects on the schedule at an appropriate time and will remain flexible as events warrant, with the hope of resuming normal operations as soon as possible," the league said in a release. "Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our players, employees and fans. MLB will continue to undertake the precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts. We send our best wishes to all individuals and communities that have been impacted by coronavirus."

On Monday, the league announced the season would be delayed until at least late April to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention new recommendation of no gatherings more than 50 people for the next eight weeks. 

"The Clubs remain committed to playing as many games as possible when the season begins," MLB said in a statement. 

Also on Monday, the MLB National Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York announced that the 2020 Hall of Fame Classic Weekend of events was also canceled. The Hall of Fame itself is closed indefinitely. 

The original news from MLB comes after the NBA and MLS suspended their ongoing seasons. 

The NCAA March Madness Tournament is still occurring, for the moment, but spectators will not be allowed into the games. 

California Gov. Gaven Newsom on Wednesday recommended the cancellation or postponement of gatherings of 250 or more people, which would include sports events, movie premieres and concerts, until "at least through March." 

On Thursday, Gov. Newsom said that did not apply to Disneyland and other large theme parks, nor did it apply to theaters or casinos. 

March 16, 11:15 a.m.: Updated with news from the MLB Hall of Fame. 

March 16, 11:17 a.m.: Updated with new statement from MLB.