As COVID-19 becomes a pandemic, clubs across the USL Championship start to take action.
After the 2020 USL Championship season kicked off last week, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has put Week 2 and beyond in flux. Governor Jay Inslee of the state of Washington today proclaimed a state of emergency as a result of confirmed cases of coronavirus therein. As a result of this announcement, Tacoma Defiance tweeted that their game would be closed to the public.
In response to the announcement made by the Governor of Washington earlier today, tonight’s match against @SanDiegoLoyal will be closed to the public.
FULL STATEMENT ➡️ https://t.co/ZBFJFkY6bn
— Tacoma Defiance (@TACdefiance) March 11, 2020
Sources tell the Beautiful Game Network that this is not expected to be the norm going forward, but there will definitely be a lot of fluidity. In the case of the Tacoma Defiance vs San Diego Loyal match, San Diego was already in town when the governor made the announcement. So, the decision was made to go ahead with the match behind closed doors. In most cases, clubs are in a holding pattern not wanting to take action–only making decisions when they absolutely have to. Many USL clubs, like New Mexico United, have announced today that they are closely monitoring the situation but are not making any changes as of yet, including Las Vegas Lights FC regarding their home opener on Saturday.
“We continue to monitor the situation closely with local officials and the league office.” Official statement from Lights FC owner Brett Lashbrook
One USL Championship team, Hartford Athletic, has gone ahead and postponed their matches, but again, due to Governors declaring a state of emergency.
Official Club Statement regarding COVID-19 pic.twitter.com/h8TfwMlbll
— Hartford Athletic (@hfdathletic) March 11, 2020
Lastly, it seems commonly felt that it would be best, for now, to postpone matches rather than cancel or play in empty stadiums. Not only does this hurt the club’s excitement and atmosphere, but also their pocketbooks. BGN will continue to monitor the situation as USL clubs are forced to take action. For the latest regarding COVID-19, please refer to the professionals at the CDC.