Cooper’s announcement Wednesday permits larger sports venues seating more than 5,000 people to host up to 15% of capacity while following other safety guidelines. The changes go into effect Friday.
The Hurricanes say they plan to start allowing fans for the March 4 home game against Detroit. Fans will be required to wear masks and practice social distancing among the safety guidelines.
Hurricanes president and general manager Don Waddell says the team looks at this as an “opportunity to show we can” reopen at least in limited fashion with safety protocols.
Elsewhere in North Carolina, the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets said they are preparing plans for fan attendance.
At the college level, the Atlantic Coast Conference had previously announced it would offer no tickets to the public for its upcoming men’s and women’s basketball tournaments in Greensboro. The league said Wednesday it was evaluating whether there would be any change.
The NHL is down to a season-low eight players on the COVID-19 list after play on Tuesday night, five of them on the Philadelphia Flyers.
That’s a marked improvement in the 11 days since the league had a season-high 59 players on the list.
The Flyers have moved into third among NHL teams, with players spending a combined total of 98 days on the list, one more than Buffalo.
Only the Calgary Flames and Montreal Canadiens remain perfect so far this season. Neither Canadian team has had a player put on the list.
The St. Louis Blues and Toronto Maple Leafs each have had a player added to the COVID-19 list over the past few days, bringing the total number of players who have spent at least one day on it to 126.
American League MVP José Abreu has tested positive for COVID-19 and will remain away from the Chicago White Sox for at least the next few days.
General manager Rick Hahn said Wednesday in a statement the Cuban slugger is “completely asymptomatic.” Hahn said testing also showed the presence of COVID-19 antibodies and Abreu believes he had a mild case of the virus in January.
“Other than being frustrated, José feels great and, like the rest of us, is looking forward to when he rejoins the club in the not too distant future,” Hahn said.
Manager Tony La Russa said Abreu will likely join the team by Monday, perhaps as soon as Friday.
“He’s rarin’ to go,” La Russa said. “I’ll say this. When he walks in the door, it’s gonna be a huge moment for the 2021 White Sox. The guys can’t wait to see him, and he can’t wait to see them.”
Abreu powered the White Sox back to the playoffs for the first time since 2008. The three-time All-Star hit .317 with 19 home runs and a major league-leading 60 RBIs in the pandemic-shortened season. He joined Nellie Fox (1959), Dick Allen (1972) and Frank Thomas (1993, 1994) as the team’s only MVP winners.
The West Coast Conference men’s and women’s basketball tournaments will be held without fans due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Clark County in Nevada would have allowed a limited number of fans, but the conference decided it would be safer for athletes and staff with no one else in the arena.
The tournaments are March 4-9 at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
The WCC has played its postseason basketball in Las Vegas for 13 years, selling out every time.
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