Minnesota sports and COVID-19: What's cancelled, suspended, postponed and more

News of cancellations, suspensions, postponements and more have been coming in from all of North America's professional and collegiate sports leagues in the last 24 hours. Here is where Minnesota's teams stand. 

Remainder of Minnesota Twins Spring Training cancelled, season start postponed

MLB Commissioner Robert D. Manfred announced Thursday that the rest of Spring Training games have been canceled and the start of the regular season will be postponed at least two weeks.

That means all Minnesota Twins games in the Grapefruit League in Florida are canceled, and they won't be heading to Oakland and Seattle to start the regular season.

"Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our players, employees and fans," read a statement from the MLB. "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."

MSHSL events closed to public starting Friday

Despite almost every other league postponing or canceling events, the Girls State High School Basketball Tournament is proceeding as scheduled Thursday. Maturi Pavilion is hosting Class A quarterfinal games, with Class 3A and 4A semifinal games set for Thursday night.

MSHSL officials announced Thursday that starting Friday, the tournament will be closed to the public. Only rostered players, their families, essential game day staff and credentialed media will be allowed at games. The decision also includes the State Adapted Floor Hockey Tournament, and upcoming section boys basketball games.

Any state and section championship games will be played. All consolation games have been canceled.

Vikings suspend travel for coaches, scouts until further notice

The Minnesota Vikings released a statement Thursday, saying they've suspended travel for coaches and scouts under further notice due to Coronavirus concerns.

"We continue to closely monitor coronavirus developments and maintain contact with the NFL, health officials and other local professional teams. Consistent with guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we have implemented precautionary procedures to protect staff and reduce the risk of acquisition and transmission inside TCO Performance Center. These actions include emphasizing proper hand washing, enhancing environmental disinfection and preparing for remote work protocols, if necessary. We are also suspending travel for our coaches and scouts until further notice and reviewing restrictions on large public gatherings in the near future. These are uncertain times, and our priority is to protect the health and safety of our players, coaches, staff and fans and do our part to minimize the spread of this virus."

The NFL's legal tampering period for free agents to talk with teams is March 16-18. The league year, including free agency, starts March 18.

Minnesota Timberwolves

The NBA has suspended its season "until further notice" after a Utah Jazz player tested positive Wednesday for the coronavirus, a move that came only hours after the majority of the league’s owners were leaning toward playing games without fans in arenas.

This includes all Minnesota Timberwolves games. The Wolves released a statement on the situation Wednesday night.

"The Timberwolves fully support the NBA’s decision tonight to suspend game play until further notice. The safety of our fans, players and staff is of the utmost importance. We will take this hiatus to work with the League and the Minnesota Department of Health on next steps in regard to the coronavirus pandemic."

University of Minnesota sporting events

The NCAA announced Thursday that all winter and spring sports are canceled, effective immediately.

The move means the Gopher men's basketball, men's hockey and women's hockey seasons are over. It also means Gopher football spring practice is over, and there will be no Spring Game on April 4 for P.J. Fleck and the Gophers.

The Gophers’ women’s gymnastics team was set to host its final regular season home meet Saturday against No. 1-ranked Oklahoma. The event at Maturi Pavilion was sold out, but is now canceled. 

The NCAA Wrestling Championships, hosted by the Gophers at U.S. Bank Stadium March 19-21, are now canceled as well. 

University of Minnesota Athletics Director Mark Coyle released the following statement:

We agree with the Big Ten's decision to cancel all athletic competitions through the end of the school year. We also support the conference's decision to suspend all on-campus and off-campus recruiting efforts for the foreseeable future. At this time, we are working on arranging transportation for our teams who are competing out of state to return to Minneapolis. We will provide all necessary resources for our student-athletes, coaches and staff during this difficult time. Our main priority is to ensure the safety of our student-athletes, coaches, staff, administrators, fans and media as we continue to monitor the COVID-19 virus.

Big 10 Basketball Tournament

The Big Ten has canceled the 2020 Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis due to coronavirus.

In the announcement, the Big Ten said it would use the time to work with medical experts to determine next steps for the tournament. League officials released a statement on the situation Thursday morning.

"The Big Ten Conference will use this time to work with the appropriate medical experts and institutional leadership to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic. The main priority of the Big Ten Conference continues to be the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, fans and media as we continue to monitor all developing and relevant information on the COVID-19 virus."

The Gophers beat Northwestern 74-57 Wednesday night to advance to face Iowa on Thursday, before the tournament was canceled. Michigan and Rutgers were warming up in Indianapolis as the news became official. For now, Minnesota's season is over with a 15-16 record.

Minnesota United FC

MLS is the second major North American sports league to suspend its season due to the coronavirus

In a statement Thursday morning, MLS says it has suspended its matches for 30 days, effective immediately. 

Minnesota United was set to play its home opener Sunday at Allianz Field in St. Paul.

Cross-Country Skiing World Cup in Minneapolis

The World Cup cross-country ski race set to take place in Theodore Wirth Park next week has been canceled over concerns about the coronavirus

Racers were coming from all over the world to compete at the 2020 Coop FIS Cross Country Ski World Cup sprint finals on Tuesday, March 17. It would have marked the first time in two decades that the world’s best skiers competed on American snow. The Fastenal Parallel 45 Festival was supposed to start on Saturday, cumulating in the big race on Tuesday. All those events are also canceled.

Minnesota Wild

The Minnesota Wild have cancelled their morning skate and media availability Thursday ahead of their now canceled game against Vegas scheduled at the Xcel Energy Center.

The cancellation came after the NHL advised all teams to not conduct morning skates, practices or team meetings due to "the uncertainty regarding next steps regarding the coronavirus."

The NHL decided to suspend its season, effective immediately, after a conference call with the Board of Governors on Thursday. The Minnesota Wild were scheduled to host the Vegas Golden Knights Thursday night at Xcel Energy Center, but the game has been canceled.

Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC)

The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC), which includes schools such as Augsburg University, Bethel University, St. Olaf College, St. John's University and the University of St. Thomas (for now), has canceled the 2020 conference regular season and postseason championships for spring sports through the remainder of the academic year. 

No. 4-ranked St. Thomas was scheduled to visit No. 2-ranked St. John's Saturday night in the NCAA Division III men's basketball tournament Sweet 16, but it has been cancelled. 

The 2020 NCAA basketball tournaments were canceled in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The NCAA announced the cancellation of all its winter and spring sports tournaments Thursday afternoon.