CDC recommends sporting events not be held for eight weeks due to coronavirus

The CDC recommends that sporting events be called off for the next eight weeks.
(Patrick Smith / Getty Images)

The sports world could remain shut down for months.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Sunday recommended that sporting events and other large gatherings be called off for the next eight weeks. “Large gatherings and mass events can contribute to the spread” of the coronavirus, the CDC said.

That eight-week period would extend through May 9. That date is well past the initial projections offered by sports leagues and would appear to force the NBA and NHL to choose between a truncated season or a mid-summer championship.

The coronavirus pandemic has created plenty of problems for television networks that rely on live sports to fill up their daily programming.

When the sports world shut down last week, the NBA and Major League Soccer each announced a hiatus of at least 30 days. Major League Baseball announced its regular season would start at least two weeks late, which would extend through April 9.

In 1990, when MLB held an abbreviated spring training following a lockout, the teams still got three weeks for spring training. Under that timetable — and only if the CDC does not extend its recommended timetable for banning large events — the MLB regular season would start on or about June 1.