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MLB cancels rest of spring training and delays start of season

N.Y. shuts down Broadway & other large events

Major League Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. announced Thursday that the rest of spring training has been canceled and Opening Day has been delayed due to coronavirus. Opening Day, originally set for March 26, 2020, has been delayed at least two weeks, MLB said in a statement. 

"This action is being taken in the interests of the safety and well-being of our players, Clubs and our millions of loyal fans," MLB said in a statement.

The spring training suspension started at 4 p.m. Thursday. Guidance for training and workouts will be provided in the coming days, MLB said. 

Spring training is a major revenue generator. Arizona State University's Seidman Research Institute and the Florida Sports Foundation reported in 2018 that the combined economic impact of spring training is $1.33 billion, according to Yahoo Finance. Florida's Grapefruit League generates $687.1 million while Arizona's Cactus League generates $644.2 million.

Minor League Baseball also said the season start would be delayed. 

Shortly after MLB's announcement, the NCAA announced it was canceling the Division I men's and women's 2020 basketball tournaments and the rest of the remaining winter and spring NCAA championships. 

"This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities," said NCAA President Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors in a statement.  

The MLB and NCAA's moves came hours after the National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman announced the season would be paused. Bettman said they took the measure after the NBA suspended the rest of their season due a player testing positive for coronavirus. 

Major League Soccer announced Thursday it would be suspending its season for 30 days. 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also announced Thursday that Broadway would close its doors starting at 5 p.m., lasting until April 12. An usher who worked at two Broadway shows, "Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?" and "Six," tested positive for the virus. 

CBS Sports has a full list of sports cancellations here

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