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Wizards, Capitals to Play Games with Spectators Despite D.C. Health Advisory

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The ownership group of the Wizards and Capitals said Wednesday that it would not heed to the D.C. Department of Health's recommendation that gatherings of 1,000 people or more be postponed or canceled.

Monumental Sports & Entertainment's decision is subject to change as new information becomes available. From the statement:

Today, the DC Department of Health recommended “that non-essential mass gatherings, including conferences and conventions, be postponed or cancelled.” Per DC Health, mass gatherings are defined as events where 1,000 or more people are congregating in a specific location. 

At the current direction of the NBA and NHL, our games will go on as scheduled and be open to spectators. We are in constant contact with both leagues and should they update their guidance, we will update the public accordingly.

Currently, D.C., Maryland and Virginia have a combined 23 cases of COVID-19, which has infected more than 1,000 people in the U.S., killing at least 30. 

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Other sporting events and leagues across the nation have deferred to local health officials. The Warriors will be playing games behind closed doors for the foreseeable future after San Francisco's health department issued a similar decree. The Sharks and Earthquakes will do the same after a similar mandate from Santa Clara County, though all three aforementioned teams are thinking through alternative plans. 

The MLB and NBA as a whole are also looking at contingency plans, such as moving games to less affected areas or canceling contests altogether.

The NCAA tournament—which accounts for more than 80% of the NCAA's revenue—will play games without fans, effectively costing the organization millions of dollars. 

Stay up to date on all the latest sporting events affected by the coronavirus.