MLB pushes baseball season back further, citing CDC guidance on coronavirus

FILE PHOTO: Mar 15, 2020; Surprise, Arizona, USA; Fans outside Surprise Stadium following the cancellation of spring training games due to concerns over the COVID-19 coronavirus. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Major League Baseball will further delay the start of its 2020 season, the league said on Monday, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that gatherings of 50 or more people should be cancelled or postponed for the next eight weeks in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 162-game season, which was set to kick off on March 26 with all 30 teams taking the field, is among the numerous international sporting events upended by the outbreak, as teams, athletes and leagues across the globe face an uncertain future.

“MLB will keep fans updated on decisions regarding plans for the 2020 schedule in the days and weeks ahead,” said the league, which had initially planned a two-week postponement to the start of the season, before revising its outlook.

“We will continue to monitor ongoing events and undertake the precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts, and urge all baseball fans to follow suit.”

Reporting By Amy Tennery; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama