As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to spread globally and domestically here in the United States, sports leagues and entities are having to suspend operations and postpone or outright cancel events in order to help slow the spread by preventing large gatherings.
Every major sports league that would be happening right now has suspended play, most recently including UFC events for the next few weeks after they were the last holdout trying to put on fights. As the recommendation of the CDC is now an eight-week ban on gatherings of 50-plus people, the hopeful return for most sports is now mid-June at the earliest (and likely later than that), which means events scheduled in May now must consider postponing.
One of the biggest May events is the Kentucky Derby, the first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown, and the May 2 race at Churchill Downs will reportedly be pushed from May 2 to the first weekend in September as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, as was first reported by Matt Jones and later confirmed by WDRB in Louisville.
Hearing from a source that Kentucky Derby likely to be pushed back to September 5th
— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) March 16, 2020
Big news: The Kentucky Derby will move from the first Saturday in May to the first Saturday in September. https://t.co/AVzBMrBky5
— Jen Keeney (@jenkeeney) March 16, 2020
Churchill Downs is expected to make that official when they make an announcement on Tuesday morning.
— Churchill Downs PR (@DerbyMedia) March 16, 2020
Moving the Derby is yet another point of proof that this outbreak is something to be taken very seriously, and for those disappointed by the postponement or cancellation of beloved sporting events, the best way to ensure they return in a timely manner is to take social distancing seriously now to slow the spread so there can, hopefully, be a return to normalcy late this summer or fall.