The NBA announced they have suspended the 2019-20 season indefinitely on Wednesday, after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19.
Their regular season is scheduled to end April 15th, with the playoffs beginning three days later.
The NBA’s announcement came during a flurry of coronavirus-related news, ranging from the World Health Organization classifying COVID-19 as a pandemic, fans being shut out of the NCAA tournament, and even actors Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson testing positive for the disease.
NBA To Suspend Season Following Tonight's Games pic.twitter.com/2PTx2fkLlW
— NBA (@NBA) March 12, 2020
Many NHL teams share their home arena with an NBA team, including the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Raptors.
On the heels of this announcement, one day later, the NHL will be following suit and also going ahead with suspending the current season.
This annoucement came after the National Hockey League told its teams to cancel player gatherings and practices on Thursday morning.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman reached out to clubs Thursday morning to tell them the regular season would be suspended due to the spread of the coronavirus, according to The New York Post.
“In light of ongoing developments resulting from the coronavirus, and after consulting with medical experts and convening a conference call of the Board of Governors, the National Hockey League is announcing today that it will pause the 2019‑20 season beginning with tonight’s games,” National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman said today in a statement.
“We will continue to monitor all the appropriate medical advice, and we will encourage our players and other members of the NHL community to take all reasonable precautions – including by self-quarantine, where appropriate. Our goal is to resume play as soon as it is appropriate and prudent, so that we will be able to complete the season and award the Stanley Cup. Until then, we thank NHL fans for your patience and hope you stay healthy.”
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) March 12, 2020
Health officials in the U.S. and Canada have recommended that people avoid large crowds and crowded spaces when possible.
An NHL arena can seat between 15,000 and 21,000 fans, depending on the venue.
The WHL also released a statement Thursday morning, saying “The Western Hockey League Board of Governors is meeting today to evaluate next steps for the WHL and its 22 member Clubs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. More information will be provided as it is available,” and the league is expected to follow in the same footsteps as the NHL and NBA.