The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:
The Los Angeles Dodgers showed off some of their stadium renovations in a video narrated by retired broadcaster Vin Scully and posted on social media.
Construction work has continued during the coronavirus pandemic to create two acres of interactive areas, retail and concessions behind the outfield pavilions.
Scully ponders when the return to Dodger Stadium will occur.
“Well, as that noted baseball philosopher Yogi Berra once said, ‘I wish I had an answer to that because I’m tired of answering that question,’” Scully said, chuckling.
He told fans to “stay healthy, stay safe and sometime soon opening day will be on the horizon.”
Skateboarding pioneer and entrepreneur Tony Hawk is working with Vans to promote the “Foot The Bill” program to help skate shops around the world get through disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Because skate shops are the central hub for skate communities, “Foot The Bill” will support them by providing custom-designed Vans footwear, with the net proceeds from each pair sold online going directly to that business.
“These days are extremely difficult for so many, which is why we are hoping to provide some fun and creativity for the global community to enjoy,” Hawk said in a statement. “In unprecedented times like these, we need to stay positive, support each other and keep creating.”
Hawk will continue as color commentator in the Vans Park Series once competitions are allowed to resume. He is also working to produce a new professional vert competition.
Venezuela says 20 people linked to a youth baseball academy known for cultivating big league players have been infected with the new coronavirus on the popular tourist Island of Margarita.
Communications Minister Jorge Rodríguez in a TV broadcast Friday blamed the outbreak that spread among players and coaches on practices held in violation of a nationwide quarantine launched over a month ago.
Rodríguez said some of the teenage players in the Roberto Vahlis Baseball Academy recently returned from the Dominican Republic and United States with symptoms, exposing others during practices.
After this incident, President Nicolás Maduro has ordered an inspection of 152 youth baseball academies across Venezuela to ensure the case isn’t repeated.
Officials say this outbreak brings to 227 the number of people in Venezuela diagnosed with COVID-19. Nine have died.
Wales rugby coach Wayne Pivac says “two or three” of his squad have contracted the coronavirus.
All have recovered, he told 1 News in New Zealand without elaborating.
Wales still has a match to play in the Six Nations that was suspended last month because of the pandemic. A date has yet to be set.
In the meantime, Pivac and his staff and Wales Rugby Union executives have taken 25% pay cuts to meet the union’s financial challenges.
Wales’ next scheduled match is on June 27 in Japan, followed by two tests in New Zealand.
“I don’t think anyone wants these games to be canceled, we need them to be played,” Pivac said.
“We need the money into the game for the game to survive. We’re all in the same boat there.”
Actor Kevin Hart, singers Kane Brown and Quavo are among the entertainers who will participate in the NFL’s Draft-A-Thon live stream that will accompany the draft.
The league will be raising funds for six organizations battling the new coronavirus pandemic that caused the NFL to cancel all draft events in Las Vegas. Instead, the April 23-25 proceedings will be done remotely and virtually.
The Draft-A-Thon will be live-streamed on NFL social and digital platforms and featured in live draft coverage on ABC, ESPN, NFL Network, and ESPN Deportes. Donations now can be made at NFL.com/RELIEF.
Funds raised will help support six national nonprofit organizations: American Red Cross; CDC Foundation’s All of Us Combat Coronavirus Campaign; Feeding America; Meals on Wheels America; Salvation Army; and United Way.
Also, all 32 NFL clubs have selected one or more of these organization’s local branches to receive a portion of the funding. The remaining funds will be distributed across the nation and internationally where the needs are greatest.
The NCAA is waiving standardized test requirements for incoming freshmen to be eligible to compete in Division I and II during the 2020-21 academic year.
The Eligibility Center adjusted several of its eligibility requirements for incoming freshmen, including the number of core courses and minimum grade-point averages. The adjustments were made in response to schools across the country moving to online learning as part of the fight against coronavirus. Social-distancing restrictions had also canceled some SAT and ACT testing dates.
The NCAA’s news release said: “Membership committees in both Divisions I and II reviewed initial-eligibility data and determined the NCAA would offer flexibility for incoming student-athletes based on research, fairness, equity and a standard of college readiness.”
South America’s soccer body Conmebol said in a statement it still expects to complete the current editions of the Copa Libertadores and the Copa Sudamericana tournaments.
It did not, however, provide a date for matches to resume. Conmebol also added it’s up to FIFA to make decisions on September’s fixtures of the region’s World Cup qualifiers. The first two rounds were initially scheduled for March, but were postponed due to the new coronavirus outbreak.
NASCAR has suspended its May 9 race at Martinsville Speedway and did not give an indication on when the season will resume.
When NASCAR suspended racing four events into the season, it listed the event in Virginia as its return date. But Virginia is under a stay-at-home order until June 10.
NASCAR in a statement said it is considering restarting the season without fans in May. It has privately told teams that NASCAR is hopeful to race May 24 at Charlotte Motor Speedway with the Coca-Cola 600.
“Our intention remains to run all 36 races, with a potential return to racing without fans in attendance in May at a date and location to be determined,” NASCAR said in a statement.
Women’s golf has lost another senior major because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Senior LPGA Championship has been canceled. It was scheduled to be played July 30-Aug. 1 at French Lick Resort in Indiana.
The USGA previously canceled the U.S. Senior Women’s Open.
The Senior LPGA will stay at French Lick in 2021. The new dates will be determined later.
The Premier League says it still wants to complete its season.
The league held a call with all 20 soccer clubs but provided no specifics about its plan to resume. The competition was suspended more than a month ago because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The league only says it discussed “possible scheduling models” and that “it remains our objective to complete the 2019-20 season but at this stage all dates are tentative while the impact of COVID-19 develops.”
The league says it will only restart “with the full support of the government” and when “medical guidance allows.”
Liverpool holds a 25-point lead at the top of the standings with nine games remaining.
An employee of Major League Soccer’s Montreal Impact has tested positive for COVID-19.
The team made the announcement Wednesday and said the employee had mild symptoms for a few days is doing well. The person has been placed in quarantine.
Montreal did not specify whether the employee was a player or another member of the team’s staff. The Impact said it is the only confirmed case of the novel coronavirus within the organization so far.
The NBA and WNBA say they plan to sell cloth face coverings bearing team and league logos and that all proceeds generated by the league will go to charity.
The proceeds will go to Feeding America in the U.S. and Second Harvest in Canada. Both of those organizations work to assist the hungry.
Face-covering manufacturers FOCO and Industry Rag will also be amping up charity efforts through sales. They will donate one face covering for every one purchased to the benefiting charities.
NBA social responsibility and player programs president Kathy Behrens says the masks will help fans adhere to CDC safety guidelines “while joining in the league’s efforts to aid those who have been directly affected by COVID-19.”
The fourth edition of the Laver Cup exhibition event founded by Roger Federer’s management company is being postponed a year because of changes to the tennis calendar caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
It now will be at TD Garden in Boston from Sept. 24-26, 2021.
The original dates were Sept. 25-27 this year.
But the French Open moved its start from May to Sept. 20 a month ago. That means the Grand Slam tournament would have overlapped with the Laver Cup. The exhibition tournament has attracted some of the top players in men’s tennis in the past.
Federer called the announcement of the Laver Cup date change “unfortunate” and “disappointing” but also “the right thing to do for everyone concerned.”
Tickets already purchased will be valid in 2021 or can be refunded.
The governing body of track and field is leading a panel of Olympic sports to advise on safely organizing mass gathering events amid the coronavirus pandemic.
World Athletics says the Outbreak Prevention Taskforce includes the International Institute for Race Medicine and officials from cycling, rowing, skiing, triathlon and the International Paralympic Committee.
They will get input from a member of the World Health Organization’s coronavirus mass gatherings expert group.
The panel has its first meeting next week and plans to work with advisers from industry, sponsors and the media. Aims include guidance on risk assessment and how sports can “plan a return to normal activities in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak or similar future situations.”
Former Leeds defender Norman Hunter has died after being diagnosed with COVID-19. He was 76.
Leeds says Hunter was admitted to the hospital last week and died on Friday.
Hunter made 726 appearances for Leeds and also played 28 times for England. He was part of the 1966 World Cup-winning squad and earned the nickname “Bites Yer Legs” because of his tough tackling.
Hunter also won two league titles and the FA Cup with Leeds.
The BMW International Open in Germany and the Open de France golf tournaments have been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic and the Scottish Open has been postponed.
The BMW International Open was to be played in Munich from June 25-28 and the Open de France was scheduled to take place a week later.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has banned large public gatherings in the country through August 31 and the French government has done the same until mid-July.
The Scottish Open was scheduled to be played from July 9-12. Discussions on a rescheduled date are ongoing.
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