MLB suspends spring training, regular season start delayed

The Twins were scheduled to begin the season later this month in Oakland.
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Rocco Baldelli

Major League Baseball announced Thursday that spring training has been suspended and the late-March start of the regular season will be delayed due to the ever-expanding novel coronavirus pandemic. 

As of 3 p.m. Thursday, all spring training activities are suspended and the regular season will be delayed by at least two weeks. MLB officials say the goal is to begin the season as soon as possible, but putting a hold on the situation in wake of the "national emergency" it is in the league's best interested to put a halt to everything. 

There is no word from the league if games that are missed will be made up or if the season will be shortened, assuming it is able to resume play at some point. 

The beginning of the Twins' season was already in jeopardy as they were due to open the season March 26 in Oakland, where a ban on large gatherings of more than 1,000 people is in place, and then travel to Seattle, where crowds of no more than 250 are currently banned in the wake of a COVID-19 outbreak. 

The NBA, NHL and MLS have also suspended their seasons, while the the Minnesota Vikings have put a stop to any coaches and scouts traveling.  

The NFL has yet to announce any changes to the start of the new league season (March 18), free agency that comes with the new league year, and the NFL Draft in late-April. 

In college sports, many athletics have been canceled, including the Big Ten men's basketball tournament.

Duke has already declared itself out of the NCAA tournament, if the tournament is even played, of which a decision has not yet been made beyond disallowing fans from attending. 

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