UFC has finally made the decision to postpone its three upcoming fights due to the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Per ESPN, UFC President Dana White told employees in an email sent on Monday, March 16, “As you’ve heard me say, I’ve been in the fight game for 20 years, and this is what we do: We find a way to keep our events going no matter what. But this is different. The whole world is being affected right now, and nothing is more important than the health and safety of you and your families.”
The next three UFC Fight Nights were scheduled to take place March 21, March 28 and April 11. White was prepared to go on as scheduled but changed his mind once the White House recommended avoiding gatherings of 10 or more people.
However, UFC 249, the next pay-per-view event taking place April 18, is currently scheduled to go on and will feature the lightweight title fight Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson.
LIST: Major Entertainment/Sports Events Affected By Coronavirus
In a March 12 statement, concert promoters Live Nation and AEG, along with Creative Artists Agency (CAA), William Morris Endeavor (WME), Paradigm, and United Talent Agency (UTA), released the following statement: "The world’s leading forces in live entertainment have come together to form a global task force to drive strategic support and unified direction ensuring precautionary efforts and ongoing protocol are in the best interest of artists, fans, staff, and the global community. At this time, we collectively recommend large scale events through the end of March be postponed. We continue to support that small-scale events follow guidance set by their local government officials. We feel fortunate to have the flexibility to reschedule concerts, festivals, and live events as needed, and look forward to connecting fans with all their favorite artists and live entertainment soon."
The suspension of the remainder of the NBA season was announced after a member of the Utah Jazz tested positive for the Coronavirus. The announcement was made after NBA owners held a conference call to talk about the league's response plans that didn't produce a resolution, and quickly after a game between the Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder was postponed abruptly right before tip-off.
In a statement from Commissioner Gary Bettman, he said, "In light of ongoing developments resulting from the coronavirus, and after consulting with medical experts and convening a conference call of the Board of Governors, the National Hockey League is announcing today that it will pause the 2019‑20 season beginning with tonight’s games. The NHL has been attempting to follow the mandates of health experts and local authorities, while preparing for any possible developments without taking premature or unnecessary measures. However, following last night’s news that an NBA player has tested positive for coronavirus – and given that our leagues share so many facilities and locker rooms and it now seems likely that some member of the NHL community would test positive at some point – it is no longer appropriate to try to continue to play games at this time. We will continue to monitor all the appropriate medical advice, and we will encourage our players and other members of the NHL community to take all reasonable precautions – including by self-quarantine, where appropriate. Our goal is to resume play as soon as it is appropriate and prudent, so that we will be able to complete the season and award the Stanley Cup. Until then, we thank NHL fans for your patience and hope you stay healthy."
Opening Day, originally scheduled to begin on March 26, was delayed for two weeks until being delayed until further notice on March 16 due to the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) recommendations of halting any gatherings consisting of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks. MLB will continue to evaluate ongoing events leading up to the start of the season. Guidance related to daily operations and workouts will be relayed to Clubs in the coming days. As of 4 p.m. ET today, forthcoming Spring Training games have been cancelled, and 2020 World Baseball Classic Qualifier games in Tucson, Ariz., have been postponed indefinitely. MLB and the clubs have been preparing a variety of contingency plans regarding the 2020 regular season schedule. MLB will announce the effects on the schedule at an appropriate time and will remain flexible as events warrant, with the hope of resuming normal operations as soon as possible. Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our players, employees and fans. MLB will continue to undertake the precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts. We send our best wishes to all individuals and communities that have been impacted by coronavirus."
In a statement, MLS Commissioner Don Garber said, "Our clubs were united today in the decision to temporarily suspend our season - based on the advice and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), and other public health authorities, and in the best interest of our fans, players, officials and employees. We'd like to thank our fans for their continued support during this challenging time."
On March 12, NCAA President Mark Emmert made the decision to cancel the Division I men's and women's basketball tournaments. The Big Ten, SEC, Big East, ACC, Western Atlantic Conference, Atlantic-10, Conference USA, Big 12, PAC-12, The Sun Belt, The Big Sky, The Southland, The America East, and The Big West canceled their tournaments as well.
The Broadway League held an emergency meeting March 12, and all Broadway performances will be canceled over coronavirus concerns effective beginning at 5 p.m. EST. Current plans are for performances to resume on April 13, 2020.
Disney announced on March 12 it will be closing its Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure until the end of March due to the coronavirus. In a statement, Disney said the following: "While there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 at Disneyland Resort, after carefully reviewing the guidelines of the Governor of California’s executive order and in the best interest of our guests and employees, we are proceeding with the closure of Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure, beginning the morning of March 14 through the end of the month. The Hotels of Disneyland Resort will remain open until Monday, March 16 to give guests the ability to make necessary travel arrangements; Downtown Disney will remain open. We will monitor the ongoing situation and follow the advice and guidance of federal and state officials and health agencies. Disney will continue to pay cast members during this time. Disneyland Resort will work with guests who wish to change or cancel their visits, and will provide refunds to those who have hotel bookings during this closure period. We anticipate heavy call volume over the next several days and appreciate guests' patience as we work hard to respond to all inquires."
In a March 12 statement, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame President Joel Peresman said, "Our first concern is to the health and safety of our attendees and artists and we are complying to the direction of the local and state authorities and common sense. We look forward to rescheduling the ceremony and will make that announcement at the earliest convenience." The 2020 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony was originally slated to take place May 2 at Cleveland’s Public Hall. This year's class includes Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, the Doobie Brothers, Whitney Houston, T-Rex and the Notorious B.I.G.
The popular festival pushed back their dates from April to October. In a statement, organizers said, "While this decision comes at a time of universal uncertainty, we take the safety and health of our guests, staff and community very seriously. We urge everyone to follow the guidelines and protocols put forth by public health officials."
The country festival pushed back their dates from March to October. In a statement, organizers said, "While this decision comes at a time of universal uncertainty, we take the safety and health of our guests, staff and community very seriously. We urge everyone to follow the guidelines and protocols put forth by public health officials."
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) officially released a statement on March 11th confirming that E3 2020 is officially canceled.
The City of Austin, TX officially canceled SXSW on March 6 marking the first time in 34 years the event was canceled.
Due to the concern of large crowds and the potential spread of coronavirus, the mayors of New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago and Detroit have all canceled their city's St. Patrick's Day parades.
GLAAD issued the following statement: "Given our long-standing commitment to the safety of our members, sponsors, and guests, the #GLAADAwards will no longer take place on March 19th in New York City...We will be in touch with nominees shortly with plans for how award categories scheduled for the New York show will be announced, acknowledging that a GLAAD Media Award nomination or win can raise the bar for LGBTQ representation and serve as a catalyst for media executives to greenlight additional LGBTQ projects."
On March 6, the Ultra Music Festival released the following statement: "It is with a heavy heart that we inform you that The City of Miami has issued an official directive requiring that the 22nd edition of Ultra Music Festival, originally scheduled for March 20, 21 and 22, 2020 will be postponed to March 26, 27 and 28, 2021. Due to the Florida Governor’s declaration of a public health emergency and Centers of Disease Control and Prevention’s Interim Guidance for COVID-19, it is impossible for the City to provide access to Bayfront Park at this time."
Ireland's biggest country music festival postponed their activities in a statement on March 12, due to directives from the government to cancel any and all gatherings of 1,000 people or more.
In a statement released March 11, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo said, "In the interest of public health, the City of Houston and the Houston Health Department have ordered the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ to close. The Rodeo will respectfully and dutifully comply with the City’s order."
NBC's The Tonight Show & Late Night, CBS' Late Show and Comedy Central's Daily Show will begin filming without a live studio audience beginning March 16. Full Frontal, which films and aires on Wednesdays, will begin their productions without an audience starting March 11.
Ellen DeGeneres released the following statement via Twitter on March 11: "I have some news. For now, I’ll be shooting my show with no studio audience. To everyone who was looking forward to coming, I'm so sorry. But I’m doing this for the health of my fans, my staff & my crew. (It has nothing to do with a warrant for my arrest in the state of Florida.)"
The March 15th Democratic primary debate between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders will not feature a live audience. Per CNN, the decision was made by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) at the request of both Biden and Sanders' campaigns after many health officials have advised people to avoid large gatherings.
ABC talk shows 'The View,' 'GMA,' And 'Live With Kelly And Ryan', which are all filmed in New York City, will be filming shows without a studio audience. A Walt Disney Television spokesperson told 'The Wrap,' "Given the current developing situation in New York City, we have made the decision to suspend live audiences from attending our news broadcasts and talk shows."
'The Wendy Williams Show' issued the following statement on March 10: "Wendy values her co-hosts and their daily participation, but in the light of the current health climate, 'The Wendy Williams Show' will not have a live studio audience until further notice. We will continue to produce a daily live talk show & look forward to welcoming the studio audience back when the time is right."
The decision to film both of the long-running game shows sans audience came down on March 9. TMZ first reported the news, and the three reasons for the decision include the following: Alex Trebek has a compromised immune system due to his stage 4 pancreatic cancer treatment; The average audience member for both of these shows is in their 60s, and that age group and older have been deemed vulnerable to the coronavirus; and many of the studio audience members are people from out of town and potentially from areas with widespread coronavirus outbreak.
The release of the latest James Bond film has been pushed back to November due to the coronavirus. Before the release push back, a number of publicity tours, including ones in China, South Korea and Japan, were canceled once to coronavirus began to spread in that region.