The latest on how the coronavirus outbreak is affecting sports around the globe:
Historic St. John’s regatta cancelled due to virus
War, fire, political strife and the death of monarchs have interrupted the Royal St. John’s Regatta over two centuries of boat racing.
Now, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the historic sports festival in the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador has been called off by disease for the first time. It’s also the first time in 80 years the regatta has been cancelled.
“We’re devastated,” said Bradley Power, president of the volunteer organizing committee.
The regatta is traditionally run on the Wednesday in August, a floating St. John’s civic holiday subject to change if adverse weather delays racing. This year’s race was scheduled for Aug. 5.
The regatta has deep cultural and historic roots in the city. The first record of organized rowing races in St. John’s was in 1816. It celebrated its 200th anniversary two years ago and declares itself to be the oldest organized sporting event in North America.
Canadians OK with empty arenas, wary of attending games: poll
Canadian sports fans are itching to watch sports again, but many would think twice about attending a game, according to a poll.
An Angus Reid online survey conducted May 1-4 asked a randomized sample of 1,527 Canadians how they felt about sports during the COVID-19 pandemic.
They were queried about how they felt about games played in empty stadium and arenas, would they attend a game for free without reservation and which sports they missed the most.
One in three indicated playing games in empty venues would be “great”, while over half said “it’s better than nothing,” according to the pollster.
But while 35 per cent said they wouldn’t hesitate to attend a game in October and November if entry was free, two in five respondents said they would deliberate before making up their mind and one quarter refused outright.
The Canadians surveyed yearned for the NHL more than any other pro sports league, with 59 per cent missing hockey compared baseball (31) and basketball (28).
Mark Cuban says too risky reopening Mavs’ facility
The NBA gave its approval for teams to reopen their practice facilities on a limited basis on Friday, but only three teams have confirmed they will. And Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is in no hurry for his team to join the list.
Cuban said Wednesday on The Athletic’s “77 Minutes in Heaven” podcast that he isn’t willing to put his players and others at risk, citing the lack of available testing.
“The problem obviously is that because we can’t test people, then we can’t assure everybody’s safety, whether they’re basketball players or anybody else,” Cuban said. “Even though we can try to take all different kids of precautions, it’s just not worth it — particularly when our guys are staying in shape and they’re going outside and shooting on outdoor hoops and working out in various ways. So I just don’t think the risk is worth the reward.”
2 Whitecaps quarantined after violating COVID-19 guidelines
The Vancouver Whitecaps said it has ordered two players to self-quarantine for 14 days after they violated club and league orders to abide by physical distancing guidelines in B.C.
According to team sporting director Axel Schuster, Reyna was working out in the park on his own while a few friends were playing a game of pickup soccer nearby.
The friends kicked the ball to Reyna who then played with them for about five minutes.
However, the incident was inadvertently captured by a Global News TV crew producing a story about COVID-19 restrictions.
IndyCar cleared to open delayed season in Texas
IndyCar has gotten the green flag to finally start its season, which it will do in Texas with a nighttime race June 6 without spectators.
The race at Texas Motor Speedway was the next one on the schedule that hadn’t been postponed or cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. IndyCar and track officials announced the details Thursday, heavy with safety precautions along with financial concessions from both sides to make it happen.
There will be a condensed schedule, with practice, qualifying and the race taking place on the same day. There will be strict access guidelines limiting the number of personnel on site, with health screening system administered to all participants and personal protection equipment provided to everyone entering the facility.