BREAKING: IFL to postpone 2020 season due to COVID-19 Mar 12, 2020 12:21:39 GMT -8
Post by Nevadanut on Mar 12, 2020 12:21:39 GMT -8
UPDATED 3/13/20, 12:59 PM (PST) - The Oakland Panthers, citing health concerns due to the corona virus, have announced the cancellation of their opening night Marth 14 game against the Iowa Barnstormers. The Barnstormers-Panthers match up had been the lone game stilll scheduled to be played, albeit without fans in attendance.
Yesterday, the IFL postponed the 2020 season until further notice. The Barnstormers-Panthers, and Cedar Rapids River Kings-San Diego Srtrike Force games had still been on the slate for March 14. Earlier today, the Strike Force announced the postponement of their game against the River Kings.
Here is the full statement on the cancellation from Panthers organnization:
"As we have stated since the beginning of the COVID-19 global crisis, the safety of our fans, players, and staff remains our top priority. After continually monitoring the situation nationally, we have decided to cancel our Opening Game March 14, against the Iowa Barnstormers.
Though we enter an almost unprecedented period of uncertainty in sports history, our team, our community and our fans will come out of it stronger than ever. Oakland is still Oakland. The Bay is still the Bay. The world is dealing with a crisis, and we owe it to our community to take responsible actions. We, as an organization, must take the necessary steps to contribute to the global fight against COVID-19. We know that this postponement is disappointing to many fans, players, coaches, but we will be back as soon as it is responsible. We have been deeply touched by all the positive support the Panthers have received from the Oakland community, and we are unwavering in our mission to keep professional football in Oakland.
Thank you for your understanding, patience, and support during this time.
The Oakland Panthers
We. Hit. Different."
UPDATED: 3/13/20, 10:45 AM (PST) - The Cedar Rapids River Kings game at the San Diego Strike Force scheduled for March 14, which was originally scheduled to continue amid the league's postponement, has been postponed, per a team statement from team general manager Ryan Eucker.
The Indoor Football League announced yesterday afternoon that due to concerns of exposure and spread of COVID-19, it would be postponing the season due to the virus, which is increasingly spreading throughout the United States. The exceptions to those were the River Kings-Strike Force game and the Oakland Panthers inaugural opener against the Iowa Barnstormers, both scheduled for March 14 at 6:05 p.m. pacific time.
As of this update, the Barnstormers-Panthers match up will still take place at its scheduled time, though will not include fans in attendance. The game will be streamed live on the IFL Youtube Channel.
The following is the text of Strike Force GM Ryan Eucker's press release:
"The San Diego Strike Force was excited to bring football back to San Diego with our second season, home opener on Saturday. We have been monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak through updates from the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and state and local health agencies. In compliance with state mandated restrictions on public events and out of an abundance of concern for our players, coaches, staff, fans and the community, we regret that our home opener will be postponed.
For those who purchased tickets to the opener, our season ticket holders and sponsors, we will be crediting your seats toward a future home game. We will continue to monitor the situation and further developments over the next few weeks AND remain optimistic that we will be able to host AND WELCOME FANS TO ENJOY IN PERSON future home games this season. We will be contacting all ticket buyers over the next 48 hours and will keep all of our fans up to date as additional information becomes available.
We appreciate your support for the San Diego Strike Force and look forward to seeing our fans in person."
UPDATED: 2:01 PM (PST) - Commissioner Todd Tyron of the IFL has announced an official statement regarding the 2020 IFL Season, announcing that its season will be postponed until further notice following Saturday night's games in San Diego and Oakland.
Both the Cedar Rapids/San Diego and Iowa/Oakland games will be played behind closed doors. Both games, set to play at 6:05 p.m. on Saturday, will still be streamed on YouTube.
Earlier on Thursday, the Frisco Fighters announced they were postponing their inaugural game against the Duke City Gladiators. Shortly afterward, the Sioux Falls Storm announced their home opener against the Bismarck Bucks would be postponed as well.
Here is the full statement by Commissioner Tyron:
ORIGINAL STORY: The Indoor Football League is postponing the 2020 season indefinitely due to growing concerns about the spread and exposure of COVID-19 (coronavirus).
The Frisco Fighters announced earlier that tonight's inaugural home game against the Duke City Gladiators would be postponed. Originally, the Fighters had planned to go ahead with the game, with fans in the stands.
Nearly 1,300 cases have been reported in the United States with the death toll reaching 38. The first fatality was a man in his 50s in Washington state late last month. Cases have numbered nearly 125,000 worldwide, with over 4,600 deaths from the virus. Over 1,000 of those fatalities have come in the country of Italy. That reporting is via CNN.
The World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 a pandemic.
The IFL announcement comes on the heels of several other sports leagues making equivalent announcements. The National Basketball Association announced yesterday that it will suspend its current season; about a month prior to the conclusion of the regular season. The National Hockey League has paused its season effective today. Additionally, Major League Soccer, of which the Portland Timbers are a member, has suspended its season for 30 days while it continues to assess the situation. At current, that affects five Timbers matches; three on the road and two at home.
It was announced yesterday that Rudy Gobert, center for the NBA's Utah Jazz, had tested positive for the virus. This morning, Gobert's teammate, Donovan Mitchell, had also tested positive, per the league.
The Portland Thorns of the National Women's Soccer League announced today that they have canceled their pre-season tournament spanning three games from April 29 through April 4. A statement regarding the regular season, which is slated to start for the Thorns on April 18 at Utah Royals FC, is likely forthcoming.
Additionally, numerous college and state sports entities have cancelled or postponed their athletic camps or upcoming events. Several movie theaters, stage venues and other potential gathering events also have been canceled or postponed around the country.
The Canadian Hockey League, the umbrella organization representing the Western Hockey League, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Ontario Hockey League, announced today that they would be suspending the remainder of the 2019-20 seasons. There is also no word on the future of the XFL's slate of games, though the Seattle Dragons say their game this weekend will go on at CenturyLink Field without fans in attendance.
Major League Baseball announced earlier today that it was canceling the remainder of pre-season, and pushing back opening day two weeks while it evaluates the situation.
Though some leagues and teams are using slightly different language, such as "postponed" or "paused," it should be noted that further word from these leagues with more definitive terminology should be expected at some point in the future.
This article will be updated as more information becomes available.
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