Watch CBS News

New York, Philadelphia and Washington teams postpone games because of smoke coming from Canadian wildfires

Awful air quality continues across Northeast
Awful air quality continues across Northeast U.S. due to Canadian wildfires 05:42

The Washington Nationals joined other professional sports teams in New York and Philadelphia in postponing their games because of "poor air quality" caused by smoke from Canadian wildfires. Live racing on Long Island's Belmont Park – the site of the Belmont Stakes this weekend – has also been canceled for Thursday. 

The air quality index has worsened so badly in recent days in New York City that its air is among the most polluted in the world, according to Swiss air quality technology company IQAir.

The conditions prompted New York officials to put the city and surrounding areas under an air quality health advisory until 11:59 p.m. Wednesday – pushing local sports teams to reconsider playing their games. 

Will the Washington Nationals play today? 

The team announced their game on Thursday against the Arizona Diamonds at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. has been rescheduled because of poor air quality. The game will be made up at 1:05 p.m. on June 22. As of Thursday morning, the air quality in the nation's capital was deemed "very unhealthy."  The Baltimore Orioles, whose home stadium is about 35 miles away from Nationals Park, are set to play against the Milwaukee Brewers in Wisconsin on Thursday. 

Is the New York Yankees game canceled today? 

The New York Yankees rescheduled their Wednesday night game against the Chicago White Sox because of poor air quality as well, as images showed orange hazy skies over Yankee Stadium hours before the game was supposed to start. The teams are scheduled to play a doubleheader on Thursday instead. 

Chicago White Sox v New York Yankees
A general view of hazy conditions resulting from Canadian wildfires at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday.  New York Yankees / Getty Images

New York Liberty and NJ/NY Gotham FC reschedule their games

The WNBA's New York Liberty said their game against the Minnesota Lynx set to be played indoors at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn indoors will be moved, with details to be provided at a later date. The National Women's Soccer League announced the match between NJ/NY Gotham FC and Orlando Pride at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey was postponed. It will be played on August 9. 

"The safety of our players, officials and fans is our top priority," a statement from the league said. "Following consultation with the NWSL Medical and Operations staff, it was determined that the match could not be safely conducted based on the projected air quality index." 

Will the Belmont Stakes be postponed? 

The New York Racing Association said they canceled live racing on Thursday at Belmont Park and the Saratoga Race Course because of poor air quality conditions forecast to affect Long Island and the rest of New York state throughout the day. No announcement has been made yet on whether the Belmont Stakes on Saturday will go on. 

NYRA President and CEO David O'Rourke said in a statement that he remains "optimistic" that they will see an improvement in air quality on Friday. 

"Safety is paramount as we navigate this unprecedented situation," he said.

Is the Philadelphia Phillies game canceled?

The Philadelphia Phillies moved their Wednesday game against the Detroit Tigers to Thursday night. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. 

Over the past six weeks, massive wildfires have spread across Canada causing mass evacuations and burning through more than 3.3 million hectares of land — larger than the state of Maryland. This Canadian crisis has not been limited to the Great North. Smoke from the fires has spread across a large portion of the U.S., affecting air quality for millions across the East Coast. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.