The Montreal Canadiens Have To Play With No Audience & Montreal Impact Season Is Suspended
- Major League Soccer has suspended its season as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads, meaning Montreal Impact games have been cancelled for now.
- Other sports leagues are also suspending games.
- Reports suggest that the NHL may soon follow suit.
Montreal Impact games will come to a halt today as the Major League Soccer season has been suspended due to the international COVID-19 pandemic. The Montreal Impact soccer season began just two weeks ago and will now be suspended indefinitely as fears continue to mount around the coronavirus. The MLS is following the lead of several other sports leagues, including the NBA, who suspended its season on Wednesday night after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert and his teammate tested positive for the virus.
UPDATE: The NHL has temporarily suspended its regular season.
The league made an official announcement on its website, stating that the suspension will last for 30 days.
"At the appropriate time, the league and clubs will communicate plans for the continuation of the 2020 season and update the status of league events."
Montreal Impact only managed to play two games this season before today's season suspension. They won their season opener at home in the Olympic Stadium against the New England Revolution and tied the follow-up against FC Dallas in Texas.
The next scheduled game for the Montreal Impact would have been played on March 21 against the Minnesota United FC at their Allianz Field in Saint Paul.
Technically, the Impact could still play their next came in the CONCACAF Championships League. The Quarter-final game would be on March 17 against Olimpia in Honduras.
We will have to wait and see if organizers decide to go ahead with the tournament amid growing fears of COVID-19 spread.
There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Honduras.
Other leagues, such as the NCAA, have opted to isolate players from fans by holding games in empty arenas and relying on broadcasts to keep fans engaged.
The NBA has also suspended its season "until further notice."
For Habs fans, the outlook isn't much better, as NHL PR staff noted earlier today that morning skates, practices, and team meetings are all on hold.
Quebec Premier François Legault also announced that the Canadiens will have to play their next game without an audience.
Given the uncertainty regarding next steps regarding the coronavirus, Clubs are advised not to conduct morning skat… https://t.co/2o9CnXMIVM— NHL Public Relations (@NHL Public Relations) 1584021286.0
Hearing that on-ice officials who are on the road now to work NHL games have been told to book flights home ....— Pierre LeBrun (@Pierre LeBrun) 1584027150.0
Pierre LeBrun, Senior Columnist for The Athletic Toronto and "Hockey Insider" for TSN and RDS also shared that on-ice officials were being told to "book flights home."
This would mean that not even empty-stadium games were in the plan for the NHL.
More to come...