The WNBA announced Friday that, due to the coronavirus outbreak, the start of the 2020 season was being postponed.
“As developments continue to emerge around the COVID-19 pandemic, including the extension of the social distancing guidelines in the United States through April 30, the WNBA will postpone the start of its training camps and tip of the regular season originally scheduled for May 15, a statement read from WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert, per the NBA. (RELATED: Pearl Jam Postpones North American Tour Over Growing Coronavirus Concerns)
WNBA Statement Regarding Start of 2020 Regular Season pic.twitter.com/5LZe5tpTai
— WNBA (@WNBA) April 3, 2020
“While the league continues to use this time to conduct scenario-planning regarding new start dates and innovative formats, our guiding principle will continue to be the health and safety of the players, fans and employees,” the statement added.
The commissioner’s statement went on to explain that, preparation is currently underway “for the upcoming virtual WNBA Draft 2020” on April 17. (RELATED: REPORT: Coachella Potentially Rescheduled To October Due To Coronavirus Fears)
“Top prospects will take part remotely live on ESPN with coverage beginning at 7 p.m. ET,” the statement read. “This virtual draft allows players who have worked so hard to have their dreams realized when they hear their names called and provides teams the opportunity to build their rosters in anticipation of the day that we are able to move forward with our season.”
“We continue to send our thoughts and prayers to our players, fans, and all of those in the community impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and are grateful to those selfless health care workers and first responders who work tirelessly on the front lines,” the statement concluded.
The postponement comes after numerous other sporting events have announced the postponement and cancellation of games due to the pandemic, including the 2020 Summer Olympics, Indianapolis 500 and the Wimbledon , just to name a few.