Four Major League Baseball clubs and a National Hockey League team have closed their training facilities due to concerns over the novel coronavirus, bringing into question if intentions to restart sports seasons will be altered.
The Philadelphia Phillies training complex in Clearwater, Florida, was closed Friday after five players and three staff members tested positive for the virus that causes the flu-like COVID-19, ESPN reported. The Toronto Blue Jays, whose training site is five miles away in Dunedin, also closed their doors after a player showed symptoms.
In Arizona, the San Francisco Giants' complex in Scottsdale and the Texas Rangers' facility in Surprise both were shuttered. The Giants closed after a person who visited the site and one family member displayed symptoms while the Rangers, who did not have any positive tests, locked their operation anyway saying they wanted to expand testing protocols.
Back in Florida, the Tampa Bay Lightning closed Amalie Arena after three players and an unidentified number of staff tested positive, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
The Phillies did not respond to questions if the positive tests would have an impact on any possible abbreviated season, saying it was too early to know.
The NHL has announced plans to conduct a 24-team playoff tournament, to be held in two "hub" cities. Training camps were to start July 10, but the league and players' union have yet to formally agree to resume the season.
Similarly, Major League Baseball has been at odds over playing an abbreviated season, with the players' union last week declaring the negotiations were at an impasse. The major issue was how much the players' would receive of their 2020 salaries.
Other sports leagues such as the NBA and Major League Soccer have announced plans to restart play at Walt Disney's sports complex in Orlando, Florida.
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