- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Most sports leagues in North America were suspended March 11 or 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic, and many major events here and around the world were canceled altogether. Now, several months later, they’re starting to come back to life and make concrete plans to resume their games.

NASCAR and the PGA Tour were the earliest to come back, albeit without fans, while several more are in the works. The most popular “hub” location so far is Central Florida, where the NBA, Major League Soccer and the WNBA could all overlap in parts of July and early August. (Read Matthew Paras’ explainer about the “hub city” concept here.)

Follow this tracker for updates on where each of the major professional sports leagues, as well as college sports, stand in their return.

Already back

NASCAR:



  • Cup series returned May 17 at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina
  • Up next: Two races at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania June 27-28
  • NASCAR has begun to allow small numbers of fans into events, where they must socially distance at all times; the league wants 30,000 fans to attend its All-Star Race July 15 in Bristol, Tennessee

PGA Tour:

  • Tour resumed June 11-14 with Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas
  • Up next: Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Connecticut, June 25-28
  • No fans will be allowed onto the courses for at least the first four tournaments
  • Five players withdrew ahead of the Travelers after two caddies tested positive for COVID-19

Coming soon

MLB:

  • A 60-game season implemented by Commissioner Rob Manfred will begin July 23 or 24, ending on Sept. 27 before an normal October postseason with 10 teams
  • Players will report to teams July 1 after MLB and MLB Players Association failed to come to a financial agreement for playing a shortened season
  • Under the two sides’ initial agreement in March, Manfred has the ability to enforce a specific season length if no agreement can be reached
  • Location: Teams’ home ballparks, without fans

NHL:

  • Season will resume in late July or early August (following a training camp period beginning July 10)
  • League will have 24 teams compete in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, with seeds No. 5 through No. 12 in each conference playing a best-of-five elimination series to qualify for the usual 16-team field
  • The top four teams in each conference, including the Washington Capitals, will play a round robin to determine their seeding; teams will be re-seeded after each round
  • Location: Two as-yet-unannounced hub cities, without fans

NBA:

  • Season set to resume in late July, with the NBA Finals finishing no later than Oct. 12
  • League will have 22 teams, including the Washington Wizards, play eight more regular-season games to determine the playoff field and seeding before holding a standard NBA playoffs
  • Location: ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World, near Orlando, Florida, without fans
  • Some NBA stars like Kyrie Irving and Dwight Howard have questioned whether the season should resume in light of the recent Black Lives Matter protests and many players’ desire to work on social justice causes

WNBA:

  • Season will begin in late July, last 22 games and end with a WNBA Finals in early October
  • Location: IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, without fans
  • Several players, including the Mystics’ Natasha Cloud and LaToya Sanders, have opted out of the 2020 season due to either coronavirus concerns or a desire to continue focusing on social justice causes

MLS:

  • Season will resume with the “MLS is Back Tournament,” July 8-Aug. 11
  • Location: ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World, near Orlando, Florida, without fans
  • D.C. United’s first match will come against Toronto FC on July 10 at 8 p.m., broadcast on ESPN
  • Season will continue after the tournament, but no details have been revealed

NWSL:

  • Season will begin with the “NWSL Challenge Cup,” June 27-July 26
  • Location: Soccer stadiums in Herriman and Sandy, Utah, without fans
  • Washington Spirit’s first match will come against the Chicago Red Stars on June 27 at 10 p.m., broadcast on CBS All Access
  • Season will continue after the tournament, but no details have been revealed

Triple Crown horse racing:

  • Tiz the Law won the Belmont Stakes June 20 to open Triple Crown season
  • Kentucky Derby: Sept. 5, with a limited amount of fans allowed
  • Preakness Stakes: Oct. 3
  • Location: Normal racetracks in New York, Louisville and Baltimore, without fans

Tennis:

  • ATP Tour (men) returns Aug. 13-21 at Citi Open in Washington, D.C.
  • WTA Tour (women) are suspended through July 31, restart unknown
  • Wimbledon canceled
  • U.S. Open will be played Aug. 31-Sept. 13 in New York, without fans
  • French Open postponed to Sept. 27-Oct. 11, with plans to have fans on site

Fall sports

NFL:

  • The Hall of Fame Game scheduled for Aug. 6, the usual first preseason game of the season held in Canton, Ohio, was canceled
  • NFL has not lost regular-season games due to the pandemic arriving in North America weeks after Super Bowl LIV was completed
  • Teams have begun opening training facilities to coaches
  • Washington Redskins training camp still scheduled for July 26, but they must hold it at headquarters in Ashburn, Virginia, rather than travel to Richmond
  • NFL held “virtual” draft, released schedule with plan for Sept. 10 kickoff

College football:

  • NCAA Division I football and basketball teams were allowed to resume voluntary workouts June 1
  • Season scheduled to begin Aug. 29
  • Notre Dame and Navy canceled plans to play in Dublin, Ireland, and will instead meet at Navy’s stadium in Annapolis, Maryland, on either Saturday or Sunday of Labor Day weekend, possibly with fans watching

Golf majors:

  • Open Championship: canceled
  • PGA Championship: Aug. 6-9 at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco (no fans)
  • U.S. Open: Sept. 17-20 at Winged Foot in Mamaroneck, New York
  • Masters: Nov. 12-15 at Augusta National in Augusta, Georgia

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