NHL, MLS Join NBA In Spring Season Suspension

The National Hockey League (NHL) and Major League Soccer (MLS) both announced Thursday they would be following suit with the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Wednesday decision to suspend spring seasons over the Wuhan virus outbreak.

“In light of ongoing developments resulting from the coronavirus … the National Hockey League is announcing today that it will pause the 2019‑20 season beginning with tonight’s games,” the NHL said in a statement. “Our goal is to resume play as soon as it is appropriate and prudent, so that we will be able to complete the season and award the Stanley Cup. Until then, we thank NHL fans for your patience and hope you stay healthy.”

The nation’s professional soccer league made its decision to suspend games earlier in the day. As of now, the suspension is slated to last only 30 days.

“Major League Soccer has suspended match play for 30 days, effective immediately, as the league continues to assess the impact of COVID-19 with its medical task force and public health officials,” the league announced in a statement.

MLS had already postponed two games in Seattle and San Jose that were originally scheduled for March 21.

The NBA broke news Wednesday that it would be suspending its season after a player on the Utah Jazz tested positive for the virus.

“The test results was reported shortly prior to the tip-off of tonight’s game between the Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena,” located in Oklahoma City, the NBA said in a statement as President Donald Trump wrapped up his primetime address to the nation.

“The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of tonight’s schedule of games until further notice. The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic,” the association added.

The NBA’s decision follows the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s preventative measures to hold games this year without fans, including the Division I men’s and women’s tournaments this spring.

“I have made the decision to conduct our upcoming championship events, including the Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, with only essential staff and limited family attendance,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said.