By Brian Hinchion, Staff Reporter
Around mid-March, all current major American sports leagues suspended play, as well as the major European soccer leagues. Since then a multitude of theories and proposals have been floated as to when the suspended leagues will return. Here is the up-to-date status of a potential return for each league/sport.
The NBA suspended play on March 11, with most teams having about 17 games
to finish the season before the playoffs were set to begin.. Since then, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has maintained his desire to finish this season and in an article from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN on April 29, he detailed two potential areas the NBA could finish the regular season games.
Wojnarowski noted that Las Vegas has been floated as a possible location to serve all teams with ample hotel infrastructure and arenas in place, but Silver has yet to be convinced of Las Vegas as a whole. Walt Disney World’s complex of hotels and arenas in Orlando has also been reported as a potential site. NBA teams whose states will allow the reopening of their team gyms due to stay-at-home easing measures will get the opportunity to practice starting May 8, however no definite date for playing games this summer has been disclosed. The NBA would play the remainder of the seasons games without fans and at best are weeks away from returning.
Similarly the NHL suspended play on March 12, with about 12 games to play for each team to wrap up the regular season. Greg Wyshynski of ESPN wrote in an April 29 article, that the NHL is targeting four cities as regional hubs to play the remainder of the games. Bill Daly, NHL deputy commissioner said in an email to ESPN on April 29, late this month would be the target date for teams to resume practicing if local governments will allow it. However, the NHL has no further date for games to resume and are weeks away at best according to Daly.
“We are not targeting a specific date at this point in time,” said Daly. “We are hoping for some point in the latter half of May.”
MLS and the MLB had their seasons stunted in the early going as at the time of the MLS league suspension on March 12 all teams had played just 2 league games and MLB teams were still competing in their preseasons when play was suspended. MLS commissioner Don Garber has expressed his desire to be creative and look at all options to complete as full of a season this year as possible.
“From tournament formats and neutral locations, ultimately playing an abridged regular season, but doing everything to get as many games,” Garber told ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman in April.
MLS announced on May 1 that players were permitted to conduct individual workouts at team facilities starting May 6. No target date for resumption of league play has been announced.
MLB sources told ESPN in early April the league could be played behind closed doors in Arizona with the full allotment of infrastructure and amenities the MLB spring training facilities provide. However, there has been minimal updates since then to this proposed plan nor when practices or games will resume for the MLB this summer.
In Europe, the top soccer leagues in Spain, Italy and Germany either plan to start training or resuming games played behind closed doors in May. The Premier League in England will have a vote on May 8 to decide the fate of the leagues resumption. In France’s top flight league, the season was cancelled and Paris Saint Germain was crowned as the Ligue 1 champion sitting 13 points clear of second place before play was suspended.. The Champions League and Europa League have been suspended until at least August and the Copa America and European Championship tournaments have been postponed until summer 2021 all according to ESPN.