ORLANDO, Fla. — Sports leagues all across the country, including here in Central Florida, are putting their games on hold to try and limit the spread the coronavirus.
Saturday, March 14
12:50 p.m. update
The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex announced it will be temporarily closed as of March 16 until further notice.
Friday, March 13
9:40 p.m. update
The Orlando Science Center has announced it will be closed from March 16 through 29, and reopen on March 30.
4:30 p.m. update
AMC Theaters announced Friday that it will be cutting capacity by at least 50% in all its theaters in the U.S. beginning Saturday.
The “social distancing” efforts will last through April 30, the company said in a news release.
In auditoriums with more than 500 seats, AMC said it will cap ticket sales at 250.
The theaters are also enhancing their theater cleaning, it said in a news release.
2:50 p.m. update
The Villages announced it is cancelling its St. Patrick’s Day events as well as all of its town square entertainment until otherwise announced.
12:30 p.m. update
The Volusia Mall has canceled its Easter Bunny photo program and all planned events.
Officials released the following statement:
"The health and well-being of the community we serve, our customers, employees, and retail partners is our top priority. Out of an abundance of caution and based on guidelines for public meetings and events from the CDC and other governmental agencies, we have made the decision to cancel or postpone all planned events, which includes our seasonal Easter Bunny photo program.
“We will continue to monitor updates from the CDC as well as local health officials and governmental agencies and will resume our event schedule as soon as it is appropriate.”
Thursday, March 12:
11 p.m. update
The city of Mount Dora announced it is temporarily suspending events in the city in downtown area including all parks and facilities including W.T. Bland Public Library.
Orange County Democrats have also canceled the Kennedy King Gala.
9 p.m. update
Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando resort will be closed for two weeks “out of an abundance of caution.”
6:10 p.m. update
The American Athletic conference announced this afternoon that all spring sports are suspended until further notice.
That means the Knights baseball and softball teams, who are both currently ranked in the top 25, will not have a chance to chase a championship.
The NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournament was also canceled this afternoon. March Madness, which dates all the way back to 1939, has been canceled for the first time.
Also, 19 conference tournaments were canceled including the AAC tourney, where UCF was supposed to take on South Florida in front of an empty stadium.
5:45 p.m. update
The city of Orlando has announced that Beardall and L. Claudia Allen senior centers have been closed. All activities have also been suspended.
5:30 p.m. update
With the NBA and Major League Soccer both suspending their games, thousands of people will not be heading to downtown Orlando this weekend.
The Orlando Magic, which were supposed to play in the Amway Center tonight, is averaging more than 17,000 fans per game.
“We certainly believe the actions taken last night were the appropriate ones ... to make sure we’re taking the health of everyone into account," Orlando City, which was supposed to play on Saturday, regularly draws more than 20,000 for a home game.
“Our top priority as a Club is the health and safety of everyone from our players, employees and fans,” Orlando City CEO Alex Leitao said in a statement.
Ignacio Cane, owner of Pepe’s Cantina on Church Street, said the cancellations will present difficulties for his restaurant.
“It’s going to be very slow for us now since we don’t have that many people hitting downtown, but on the other side, too, it’s for the protection of the people,” Cane said.
Major League Soccer does plan on rescheduling all of the matches impacted by the suspension, but it’s unknown when that will be.
3:30 p.m. update
Winter Park officials announced Thursday that they have canceled the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival.
Officials released the following statement:
"Due to current information regarding the potential spread of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), and events beyond our control, the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival (WPSAF), scheduled for Friday, March 20, through Sunday, March 22, 2020, will be cancelled. The City of Winter Park and the WPSAF Committee decided together that the health and safety of the community, guests, event patrons, artists and staff are the very top priority. Thank you for understanding our concerns.
2:50 p.m. update
Lake County officials announced they are postponing all county-sponsored events through the end of March.
The county released a statement, which includes all events that are postponed:
“In accordance with these recommendations, postponed events include the ribbon-cutting at Miracle League Field on March 14, the Engine 15 push back ceremony at Station 15 on March 17, the groundbreaking ceremony at Marianne Beck Memorial Library on March 20 and the How to Win Government Contracts seminar on March 23. UF/IFAS Extensions Services events, including the Spring Plant Sale on March 28, are also postponed. For the latest event information, residents are encouraged to visit https://www.lakecountyfl.gov. Several libraries will also postpone March events including, Astor County Library, Cagan Crossings Community Library (Four Corners), Cooper Memorial Library (Clermont), East Lake County Library (Sorrento), Marion Baysinger Memorial County Library (Groveland), Paisley County Library, Umatilla Public Library, Helen Lehmann Memorial Library (Montverde) and Marianne Beck Memorial Library (Howey-in-the-Hills).”
2:05 p.m. update
The National Hockey League announced it is pausing its 2020 season.
2 p.m. update
The city of Winter Park announced it will cancel the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival scheduled for March 20.
1:55 p.m. update
NASCAR announced it will hold race events in Atlanta and Miami without fans in attendance.
12:38 p.m. update
The Southeastern Conference and Big Ten Conference canceled the remainder of the 2020 Men’s Basketball Tournament in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The American Athletic Conference canceled their tournament’s championship game, which was scheduled to be played Thursday.
12:33 p.m. update
The Miami Open has been suspended after Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez declared a state of emergency in Miami-Dade County.
The event was set to take place at Hard Rock Stadium.
12:13 p.m. update
Major League Soccer announced that they are suspending play for 30 days.
“Our clubs were united today in the decision to temporarily suspend our season - based on the advice and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), and other public health authorities, and in the best interest of our fans, players, officials and employees,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “We’d like to thank our fans for their continued support during this challenging time.”
11:51 a.m. update
The National Basketball Association suspended their operations Thursday evening.
Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins confirmed the team was on the same plane the infected player of the Utah Jazz had previously been on, but that the team is not classified as having exposure to coronavirus, because Delta sanitized the plane between flights.
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