NCAA Basketball: SEC Tournament-Vanderbilt vs Arkansas

The video board at Bridgestone Arena notifies fans Wednesday night that, starting Thursday, games will be closed to fans for the remainder of the SEC Conference Tournament. All NCAA tournament events will be closed to fans in all sports as a result of the coronavirus epidemic.

When Saint Anselm College’s basketball teams take the court this weekend in the NCAA Division II tournament, the Hawks will play in mostly empty gyms, as will teams at all NCAA spring tournaments in all sports, which will be played in front of family members and team staff only.

The NCAA made those announcements Wednesday as event cancellations and adjustments are made throughout the nation as a result of the coronavirus epidemic.

Among the most notable was that the Ivy League announced that all spring sports have been canceled. The conference had already canceled its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. The league also left it up to member schools whether to allow winter teams to continue in tournament play. Harvard elected to pull the plug on its men’s hockey squad, which was scheduled to visit Rensselaer for an ECAC quarterfinal series this weekend. Cornell will go ahead with its series against Princeton with no spectators in the rink.

In New Hampshire, the Division II girls’ basketball semifinals, which had been scheduled for Wednesday night at Dartmouth College, were moved to Pinkerton Academy as the college takes precautions as a result of the virus. The Division II final, which was set for Saturday at Dartmouth, has been moved to the University of New Hampshire.

In Washington state, Gov. Jay Inslee announced Wednesday that all events that draw more than 250 people, including sports, concerts and conventions, can’t be held through at least March — and probably longer in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.

And in San Francisco, Mayor London Breed announced a mandate banning events with more than 1,000 people for at least two weeks.

Their orders will leave the Seattle Mariners scrambling to find a new place to start their 2020 season, and the Golden State Warriors making alternate arrangements for games set for Chase Center in San Francisco.

In a statement, the Mariners said they were working with Major League Baseball “on alternative plans for our games that were scheduled for the end of March at T-Mobile Park in Seattle.

“While we hope to be back to playing baseball in Seattle as soon as possible, the health and safety of our community is the most important consideration.”

The Wall Street Journal’s Jarred Diamond reported that MLB is looking into different sites for games once the season begins later this month as opposed to playing in empty stadiums.

The Warriors announced that they will play Thursday’s home game against the Brooklyn Nets without fans at Chase Center in San Francisco.

Organizers canceled the 2020 College Basketball Invitational, a 16-team tournament for schools not selected for the NCAA tournament, due to uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus.

NFL teams are modifying their schedules and changing their approach to the pre-draft process out of concern for the spread of coronavirus.

NFL Network reported on Wednesday that several teams are downsizing their traveling personnel group and will further reduce the number of visits from draft prospects.

Yahoo Sports reported coaches employed by the New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles are being pulled off the road, but the Saints denied the report only minutes later.

Yahoo reported the move is a reaction to the potential spread of coronavirus.

The world figure skating championships, scheduled to be held in Montreal from March 16-22, has been canceled, the Quebec government said on Wednesday.

The decision to cancel the world championships comes a day after the International Skating Union announced strict requirements for attending the event, including monitoring temperatures of skaters, coaches and officials.

Soccer matches in Italy have been suspended until April 3. Games for the past two weeks have been held in empty stadiums as the in the midst of a serious coronavirus spread in that country.

In England, Wednesday’s Premier League game between Arsenal and Manchester City was postponed after it emerged that some Arsenal players and staff had interacted with the owner of Greek team Olimpiacos after the clubs’ match on Feb. 27. That owner, Evangelos Marinakis, has since tested positive for COVID-19, the illness caused by coronavirus.