The Seattle Mariners will be the first MLB team to have regular-season games impacted by the coronavirus, according to the New York Post's Joel Sherman.
The Mariners will not play their first two series of the season at home in T-Mobile Park, Sherman reports. The team released a statement saying it is working with the MLB's commissioner office on alternative plans for those series at the end of March.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced a ban on gatherings and events of more than 250 people in the Seattle metro area on Wednesday, including sporting events and concerts. The Seattle Sounders announced the postponement of their March 21 match against FC Dallas after Inslee's ban. The XFL's Seattle Dragons also announced that the team's game against the LA Wildcats will be played without fans present as scheduled on Sunday, March 15.
The Mariners were scheduled to face the Rangers and Twins starting on Opening Day, March 26. MLB is reportedly considering using alternative sites for teams that are most affected by the spread of the coronavirus, according to The Wall Street Journal's Jared Diamond.
Major U.S. sports continue to be impacted by measures intended to reduce the spread of coronavirus. The Warriors will play without fans at home games for the next two weeks after San Francisco announced a ban of gatherings of over 1,000 people in the area.
The NBA is reportedly weighing options of games being played in neutral sites or cities not yet impacted by the coronavirus. The league was recommended by a top U.S. health official to ban large crowds from games. College basketball tournaments are also being impacted, from the Ivy League tournaments being canceled to the MAC tournament banning fans.
Both MLB and the NBA have restricted media members and non-essential personnel from accessing clubhouses and lockerrooms due to coronavirus concerns.
The United States has more than 1,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, while the global total is nearly 120,000.