While sports leagues across the country continue to postpone, suspend and cancel events, there is one league who is committed to entertaining the fans. On Thursday, NASCAR announced it will continue to host races despite the coronavirus outbreak. However, fans will not be allowed to attend races as attendance will be restricted to authorized officials.
"At this time, NASCAR will hold its race events at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway without fans in attendance, the statement by NASCAR said. These events will be restricted to competitors, crews, officials and other necessary personnel to conduct the race. We will work with public health officials as we determine future scheduling beyond these events.
NASCAR fans have a lot to say about the move. "I feel like this is a method of trying to spike ratings because everything else has been cancelled and there's nothing else left to watch," one fan wrote on Twitter. "Idk about this."
"I think they should’ve postponed to an off weekend," another fan wrote. "Give teams the off weekend now let the fans still attend a race."
"Wrong call, NASCAR," a third fan added. "Get ready for the swift backlash from fans and media. Nice to see you could care less about the drivers and crew."
This decision is similar to what the NCAA did earlier this week. It was announced the NCAA Tournament will be played without fans. This also goes for the Final Four which is set to take place at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
"The NCAA continues to assess the impact of COVID-19 in consultation with public health officials and our COVID-19 advisory panel. Based on their advice and my discussions with the NCAA Board of Governors, I have made the decision to conduct our upcoming championship events, including the Division I men's and women's basketball tournaments, with only essential staff and limited family attendance," NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a statement."0comments
It's still possible the NCAA could cancel the tournament altogether especially with Duke deciding not to take part in March Madness. Also, all major conferences have decided to cancel their basketball tournaments due to the coronavirus concerns.
As far as other leagues, the NBA suspended its season while baseball is expected to move the start the regular season to a later date.