Coronavirus Update: UFC 249 Reportedly Headed to Florida, NASCAR Targets May 24 Return

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, pro sports leagues continue to postpone or cancel seasons and events. SVG is posting a regularly updated list of announcements from pro leagues regarding postponed, canceled, or rescheduled events. Below are further announcements this week. Click Here for previous coronavirus update installments and stay tuned to for more information on how the spread of the coronavirus is impacting the sports-production industry.

Report: UFC 249 now slated for May 9 somewhere in Florida
After UFC president Dana White’s attempt to hold UFC 249 on California tribal ground got shut down by ESPN, it appears that the event has a new time and date. The event originally scheduled for April 18 now has the green light to take place on May 9 at an undiclosed location in Florida, MMA Fighting reports.

Several Venues in Talks to Hold NASCAR Events in May
Several circuits are lobbying to stage the resumption of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series as soon as May despite current coronavirus-forced lockdowns. NASCAR confirmed last week that the May 8-9 event at Martinsville i has been postponed. NASCAR recently revealed it was assessing a “potential return to racing without fans in attendance in May” at a yet-to-be-determined circuit. This could potentially be the Coca-Cola 600 on May 24 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Golf World Lays Out Plans, Ryder Cup Could Be Played in September Without Fans
Earlier this month, the golf world laid out the new schedule for 2020 in a joint statement from Augusta National Golf Club, European Tour, LPGA, PGA of America, PGA TOUR, The R&A, and USGA. This included the U.S. Open moving to Sept. 14-20, The Open being cancelled, the PGA Championship shifting to August 3-9, and The Masters targeting November 9-15. Last week, the PGA Tour also laid out its revised schedule with plans to start play again on June 8 with the Charles Schwab Challenge.

Golf chiefs are discussing plans for a Ryder Cup without fans despite opposition from the players. Seth Waugh, chief executive of the PGA of America, said that he was talking to the European Tour about the feasibility of going ahead with the biennial match if fans are locked out because of the coronavirus crisis.

National Spelling Bee Canceled for First Time Since 1945
This year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee was canceled Tuesday due to the coronavirus pandemic. The bee will return next year and Scripps will not change eligibility requirements for the next bee, which is scheduled for June 1-3, 2021. The bee, which began in 1925 and was last canceled from 1943-45 because of World War II, has always been restricted to elementary and middle-schoolers.

World Series of Poker Postponed, Organizers Target Fall Dates
The 51st World Series of Poker has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Organizers are now targeting this fall to hold poker’s most prestigious event. The exact dates and format are to be determined. The World Series of Poker was slated to begin May 26 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, with dozens of tournaments taking place leading up to the $10,000 no-limit hold ’em main event on July 1.

Senior LPGA Championship in July Canceled
The Senior LPGA Championship has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. It was scheduled to be played July 30-Aug. 1 at French Lick Resort in Indiana. The USGA previously canceled the U.S. Senior Women’s Open. The Senior LPGA will stay at French Lick in 2021. The new dates will be determined later.

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