WNBA postpones start of season this month because of virus

WNBA postpones start of season this month because of virus

"Minnesota has the sixth and 16th overall selection in this year's draft".

The league announced Thursday, March 26, 2020, that its draft will still be held April 17 as originally scheduled, but without players, fans or media in attendance due to the coronavirus pandemic.

League commissioner Cathy Engelbert released the following statement on Twitter, officially postponing all training camps in addition to the scheduled tipoff date of May 15.

While other domestic sports leagues at all levels suspended, postponed or canceled seasons and competitions as the threat of the virus escalated, the WNBA waited to announce its decision.

The April 17 draft will go on as scheduled, but fans, players and team staff won't be gathered together.

"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, " she added.

WNBA teams, unlike many professional sports teams, travel commercially and often hold practices at community colleges or other public gyms and venues when necessary.

Ogwumike also noted how a postponement could force the WNBA and National Basketball Association to make schedule changes if both leagues play simultaneously.

WNBA teams were set to play a league-record 36 games this season, with the first half featuring an in-season competition known as the Commissioner's Cup. The WNBA has franchises in both Seattle and New York City, two major hot spots for the virus. One of the Seattle Storm's properties for the season, the Angel of the Winds Arena, is getting used as a coronavirus isolation web site.

"We are grateful for the front line workers who are courageously combating COVID-19", Valavanis said.

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