The NTT IndyCar Series Twitter account announced on Thursday afternoon that the Indianapolis 500 and GMR Grand Prix races will be rescheduled for later dates due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Indy 500 was originally going to take place during Memorial Day weekend, on May 24. The Indy 500 will now take place on Sunday, August 23.
The GMR Grand Prix was originally scheduled for May 9 but will now take place on the Fourth of July. The new July 4 date for the GMR Grand Prix will create the first-ever double-header event with NASCAR and will air on NBC on Independence Day. The 104th edition of the Indy 500 will also air live on NBC with an official start time to be named at a later date.
The U.K. has put forth a plan for the Premier League to return this summer, but fans will have to stay home and watch on TV.
The British government detailed the steps in a report called “Our Plan to Rebuild: The UK Government's COVID-19 Recovery Strategy.”
Inside the 51-page document it says the U.K. can begin “permitting cultural and sporting events to take place behind closed-doors for broadcast, while avoiding the risk of large-scale social contact,” in Step 2 of the plan, starting June 1.
Before moving on to Step 2, however, the report states the U.K. must pass five benchmarks, including: seeing a declining COVID-19 infection rate, a declining death rate (due to COVID-19), being confident that they will be able to provide intensive care across the U.K., and being confident that the healthcare system will still have plenty of access to PPE materials.
According to ESPN, the Premier League will also have to present a plan to the U.K.’s Department of Culture, Media & Sport before they’re cleared to play.
As for fans in seats, the report says “while reopening outdoor spaces and activities… comes earlier in the roadmap because the risk of transmission outdoors is significantly lower, it is likely that reopening… venues that attract large crowds (like sports stadia)... may only be fully possible significantly later depending on the reduction in numbers of infections.”
Soccer fans looking to watch games no matter who’s playing will have another option soon. Bundesliga, Germany’s top soccer league, will restart play on Saturday.
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Last night, live sports returned in the United States at UFC 249. Held in an empty arena without fans, with a load of coronavirus prevention guidelines and testing, some normalcy returned to the sports world.
President Donald Trump addressed UFC fans during the broadcast in a video from the White House.
"I'm standing in a very important spot, right outside the Oval Office, and you're looking at the White House behind me," Trump said. "It's an honor to be here and an honor to salute you. I want to congratulate Dana White and the UFC. They're going to have a big match.
"We love it. We think it's important. Get the sports league back. Let's play. Do the social distancing and whatever else you have to do, but we need sports. We want our sports back."
It's worth noting that UFC light heavyweight Jacare Souza tested positive for COVID-19 and his bout with Uriah Hall was pulled from the event, but the card continued otherwise. It's also worth noting that Trump and UFC president Dana White have a close personal relationship, with White speaking at the Republican National Convention in 2016.
Trump has reportedly held calls with the commissioners of the major sports leagues about how to get sports going again. As of now, the NBA, NHL and MLB seasons are suspended, and there isn't a clear return date or plan in mind. Reports of options have crept out, but nothing concrete is in place.
The NFL released its schedule in early May and is planning on starting in early September, as usual. However, there are contingency plans in place if the season needs to be delayed.