Silver: NBA Hiatus Likely to Last at Least 30 Days

Written by:
Mary Montgomery
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Following a series of sports league postponements and matchup cancellations that culimated with the cancelation of this year's March Madness, sports betting companies advised Gambling911.com there are still limited activities in which to bet on as the coronavirus pandemic continues to paralyze the world.

Bookmaker advised that they will be promoting Major League Baseball win totals, UFC and Boxing matches.  The highly anticipated Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder 3 is expected to take place at the MGM Grand again on July 18 and should help make up for some of the losses suffered from the cancelation of March Madness.

UFC Fight Night Brazil will take place on Saturday in an empty arena due to coronavirus pandemic.

The March 28 boxing card in Inglewood, Calif., headlined by Vergil Ortiz Jr. and Samuel Vargas, has been postponed by the California State Athletic Commission.  They are preventing combat sports events during the month of March.

While there has been talk of canceling the Summer Olympics, the host nation Japan continues to hold the line that the Tokyo Games will begin as planned on July 24. Even if the coronavirus fails to show signs of abating, the show could go on without spectators.  The Summer Oympics would also help generate business for books, providing revenue that only comes around every four years.

There was some glimmer of hope that the NBA would return, assuming the coronavirus threat goes away in the coming weeks.   Commissioner Adam Silver confirmed on TNT Thursday night that the NBA will take a 30-day hiatus suggested by team owners and use the time to further discuss whether the league can resume play and how it can do so.

"Of course the issue becomes now, what we determined today, is that this hiatus will be most likely at least 30 days," Silver said. "And we don't know enough to be more specific than that. But we wanted to give direction to our players and teams and fans that this is going to be roughly at least a month.

"But then the question becomes is there a protocol frankly with or without fans in which we can resume play," Silver continued. "I think the goal [is] ... what makes sense here without compromising anyone's safety. It's frankly too early to tell."

Major League Baseball announced that they will postpone the start of their season for at least two weeks.

UEFA will hold a crisis meeting next week, European football’s governing body announced on Thursday, as the coronavirus pandemic threatens to force the postponement of Euro 2020 and the ongoing Champions League.

A videoconference will be held “to discuss European football’s response to the outbreak” next Tuesday “in the light of the ongoing developments in the spread of COVID-19 across Europe and the changing analysis of the World Health Organisation.”

The meeting will involve representatives from all 55 national associations and club and player bodies.

One possible solution for the European Championship could be to delay the tournament by a year until 2021.

Next Tuesday's Champions League last 16, second legs between Manchester City and Real Madrid, and between Juventus and Lyon have been postponed.

Two Europa League last 16, first legs scheduled for Thursday and involving Italian clubs have been postponed. The other six matches are set to go ahead, but four will be played behind closed doors.

- Mary Montgomery, Gambling911.com

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