Here is the latest information we have to date regarding sports and COVID-19
Commissioner Silver Holds Phone Call With NBA Players
Earlier today, Commissioner Adam Silver held a phone call with members of the NBAPA to discuss the remainder of this season and what the plans might be for the future. According to sources close to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, restarting the season, discussing where games could be played, and potential formatting for the NBA Playoffs were all ideas talked about during the call.
The first thing Woj’s sources explained was how the league wants to approach restarting and playing games. Commissioner Silver reportedly said that playing in just one or two locations “would be safer…” Sources also said that the NBA does not feel pressure to restart the season in May or even June.
Woj’s sources also explained that the commissioner is hopeful that the league would have a playoff that featured a seven-game series in every round. Silver also reportedly said that he believes the playoffs would go by quicker if all games were held in just two locations since it will limit the need for travel. Woj is saying that Orlando and Las Vegas are two of the top locations currently being considered by the league.
Wojnarowski said that there was an important message that Commissioner Silver wanted the players to take away from the phone call. “This is going to be hard — and hard for a long time. We need to work together. Hard choices are coming. No one will agree on everything…” Silver said.
League And Players’ Association Agree To cancel International Games
Earlier today, it was announced that the NHL would not be playing any more internationally-scheduled games in 2020. The announcement was jointly made by the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association.
The sides came together to release a statement about the decision. They said, “The NHLPA and the NHL remain committed to maintaining and growing our international presence. We hope that our fans overseas understand the need to postpone the 2020 games, but we look forward to being back with them in 2021.”
The Columbus Blue Jackets and the Colorado Avalanche were originally scheduled to play a regular-season game this year in Helsinki, Finland before the season was paused in March. On top of that, the Boston Bruins and the Nashville Predators are scheduled to play against each other in the Czech Republic to open their 2020-21 regular-seasons. The league was also reportedly hoping to play a game in China in 2021 but that is now unlikely.
League Reportedly Planning To Shorten Upcoming Draft
According to ESPN’s sources, Major League Baseball is planning on cutting down the 2020 Draft to just five rounds. This is a drastic change from the typical MLB Draft which usually consists of 40 rounds. ESPN is saying the decision comes as team owners look to save money amidst the Coronavirus Pandemic.
The reported changes to the draft come after the MLB and the MLBPA agreed back in March to reduce the number of rounds in the 2020 Draft. ESPN said that the agreement “…allows teams to delay signing bonuses, with a maximum of $100,000 to be paid within 30 days of a player signing, 50% of the remainder due July 1, 2021, and the leftover due July 1, 2022.”
According to ESPN, the plan allows teams to sign an unlimited number of draftees for a maximum amount of $20K per player. The 2020 MLB Draft is currently scheduled to begin on June 10th.
League Releases 2020 Schedule
Yesterday, the NFL released the schedule for the upcoming year, including the date and time of the opening game of the 2020 regular-season. The full schedule was revealed last night at 8:00 PM EST.
The NFL’s 101st season is scheduled to begin at 8:20 PM EST on Thursday, September 10th when the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Houston Texans at in KC. The Texans and Chiefs faced off in the Divisional Round of last year’s playoffs. Kansas City would go on to win by a final score of 51-31 despite being down 21-0 in the first quarter of the game.
ESPN’s Stats and Information Department was able to quickly analyze every team’s schedule. Based on 2019 opponents’ records, the New England Patriots will have the toughest regular-season schedule, while the Ravens have the easiest schedule.
Unsurprisingly, Tom Brady will have plenty of opportunities to show off his talent on his new team. The Buccaneers will play in five primetime games this coming season which is tied with seven other teams for most 2020 regular-season games in primetime. The Detroit Lions and the Washington Redskins are the only two teams not scheduled to appear in any primetime games this coming season.
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