The Latest: Dolphins turning field into drive-in theatre
The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:
The Miami Dolphins are turning their field into a drive-in theatre.
The team announced plans for a theater inside the stadium that will accommodate up to 230 cars. In addition, a new open-air theater on the stadium plaza will host small groups. Classic movies and commencements will be among the events shown, and social distancing will be observed.
“We’ve spent several weeks planning this to be able to provide people with a safe option to go out and enjoy movies, classic Dolphins content, concerts, and celebrate 2020 graduates,” Dolphins CEO Tom Garfinkel said in a statement Tuesday.
Oklahoma will re-open its facilities for voluntary football workouts on July 1 — about two weeks later than the Big 12 Conference has allowed.
The school made the announcement on Tuesday.
Big 12 presidents and chancellors met last Friday and decided voluntary activities could begin June 15 for football, July 1 for other fall sports and July 15 for all other sports.
Oklahoma football has chosen a careful approach. The athletic department’s medicine staff coordinated with the OU Health Sciences Center, Norman campus student health officials, independent in-state and out-of-state infectious disease experts and public health specialists before making the decision.
“Our medical personnel have told us that the safest thing we can do is keep our players off campus for as long as possible,” Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said. “We chose the latest point that we could bring them back and still have enough time to prepare.”
The school said other student-athletes will return later this summer in a phased approach. Athletes will be evaluated for clearance by the Oklahoma medical staff and will be continuously monitored and expected to adhere to several safety protocols and guidelines.
Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanasio says he would prefer that his team hold preseason workouts in Milwaukee rather than its spring training home in Arizona if Major League Baseball decides to resume its season.
Attanasio said it would be a “real boost for everyone” to “bring the boys back in town” as he joined Brewers general manager David Stearns and manager Craig Counsell in a Zoom session with the Greater Milwaukee Committee, a group of area business leaders.
Attanasio acknowledged the team first would have to go through the “medical protocols” and assure local and state officials that the preseason workouts can be done safely at Miller Park.
Also during the session, Stearns discussed the Brewers’ COVID-19 testing plans and said that Counsell would have his own assigned seat in the home dugout as part of the team’s social distancing guidelines.
Counsell and Attanasio both noted that the shortened schedule would make it more important than ever for teams to keep their players healthy. Counsell noted how that might impact his managerial approach.
“It’s going to be important that we’re, I think, prudent with how much with how much usage all our players can have early in the season,” Counsell said.
Ravens second-year receiver Miles Boykin plans to join quarterback Lamar Jackson and several other teammates in Florida for informal workouts while waiting for word on the NFL’s next move during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I was planning on going down there before all this stuff happened,” Boykin said on a video-conference call Tuesday. “But next week I’ll be down there training with those guys.”
To this point, Boykin has been playing catch with backup quarterback Trace McSorley around Baltimore.
“The fact that I have Trace here to be able to work with me is huge,” Boykin said.
Boykin will join Jackson, second-year receiver Marquise Brown and several others in Florida.
“We’re still finalizing it. There are going to be a lot of guys down there,” Boykin said. “There’s only so much you can do in (virtual) meetings without being able to go out on the field.”
Drafted in the third round of the 2019 draft out of Notre Dame, Boykin had 13 catches for 198 yards and three touchdowns as a rookie.
— David Ginsburg
Defending America’s Cup champion Emirates Team New Zealand has its first race boat back after it was shipped to Europe for two preliminary regattas that were canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Te Aihe (The Dolphin) returned to Auckland early Tuesday morning after being away for nearly four months. Team New Zealand last sailed Te Aihe on the Hauraki Gulf on Jan. 15. It left the base on Feb. 2, accompanied by 16 containers full of workshops, chase boats and everything else needed to support the team at America’s Cup World Series regattas in Cagliari, Italy, in late April and Portsmouth, England, in early June. Those regattas were canceled in March as the coronavirus spread around the world.
The boat traveled on four ships and visited 15 ports, including loading on and off in the New Zealand port of Tauranga, transhipped in Singapore each way and loaded off and on in Gioia Tauro, Italy.
“It is good to see her back sooner than expected,” logistics manager Andy Nottage said. “She has been on quite the adventure, but it is good to have her home in one piece thanks largely to the ongoing support of Maersk.”
Nottage said Te Aihe was shipped in a relative state of readiness, so it won’t take long to get it sailing again.”
The final ACWS regatta is set for just before Christmas in Auckland. The Prada Cup for challengers is set for Jan. 15-Feb. 22, with the winner advancing to face the Kiws in the 36th America’s Cup March 6-21.
The top men’s soccer league in Ukraine will resume Saturday in empty stadiums after a suspension because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Ukrainian Premier League says it has received approval from the country’s health ministry to restart. No games have been played since March 15.
The schedule foresees league games finishing July 19 with a European qualification playoff ending 10 days later.
According to UEFA rankings, Ukraine will be the second strongest league in Europe playing, behind only Germany.
The leadoff event to the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating has been canceled by Skate Canada because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The event was scheduled for Aug. 26-29 in Richmond, British Columbia. It is the second competition of the seven-part series that has been canceled, with the Slovakia event the following week also not taking place.
“Skate Canada has closely monitored the provincial and federal health authorities position on the COVID-19 pandemic and is committed to the health and safety of the athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers and spectators,” the organization said Tuesday.
“Due to the provincial quarantine guidelines for all travelers and social distancing requirements in effect at this time, Skate Canada regretfully made the decision to cancel the event.”
No decisions have been made on the other competitions, nor on the senior Grand Prix events.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is expected to announce the league’s return to play format this afternoon.
Bettman is set to make a televised address at 4:30 p.m. EDT about what hockey will look like if the NHL can resume the season this summer. That means a 24-team straight-to-playoffs format with the league’s other seven teams having their seasons ended.
The Players’ Association voted last week to approve the 24-team format proposed by the Return to Play committee. It involves the top four teams in each conference playing a mini-tournament for seeding, while the other 16 face off in best-of-five series to set the field.
There is still no timetable for the resumption of game action or when players can return to team facilities for voluntary workouts. This announcement does come on the heels of the league and NHLPA unveiling protocols for those workouts, including a limit of six players on the ice at a time.
Conferences and television networks have agreed to an extension to next week’s deadline for determining the broadcast schedule for college football’s early season games.
The Football Bowl Subdivision conferences issued a joint statement Tuesday along with ESPN, CBS Sports, Fox Sports and their affiliated networks.
The statement said only that the game times would be set “at a later date as we all continue to prepare for the college football season.”
The deadline typically falls on June 1, which is Monday.
Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted Tuesday that as long as the NFL’s Giants and Jets and the NHL’s Devils follow health and medical protocols, they could open training camps or even hold competition.
The NFL’s preseason and training camps wouldn’t begin until midsummer — teams are doing virtual workouts in place of the usual on-field activities because of the coronavirus pandemic. But the NHL is planning ways to complete the 2019-20 season. Should those plans include the Devils, they now can reopen their training facilities.
“Professional sports teams in NJ may return to training and even competition — if their leagues choose to move in that direction,” Murphy wrote on Twitter.
“We have been in constant discussions with teams about necessary protocols to protect the health and safety of players, coaches, and personnel.”
A Jets spokesman said: “We are working closely with Gov. Murphy’s office, the league and our medical staff to establish prudent, health and safety measures for our staff and players. Based on those guidelines, we will begin to open our facility using a phased approach at a time that is the most practical for our operations.”
The Giants echoed those sentiments and said: “With today’s announcement by the governor, we are finalizing our plans to reopen the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. We will continue to have as many employees as possible working remotely. For employees who need to return to work at our facility, we expect to begin that process next week, and we will do so in a systematic and safe way that adheres to the state’s guidelines and NFL protocols.”
Formula One carmaker McLaren says 1,200 jobs will be lost across its entire group’s operations because of the coronavirus outbreak.
It was not immediately clear how the cuts would affect the group’s F1 operation. The sport has yet to start its 2020 season amid the pandemic.
The McLaren Group says “the cancellation of motorsport events, the suspension of manufacturing and retail activities around the world and reduced demand for technology solutions have all led to a sudden impact” on its revenue-generating activities.
McLaren says the reduced budget-cap level for F1 teams also led to the job losses.
The cuts represent about a quarter of the group’s workforce.
McLaren executive chairman Paul Walsh says “we plan to emerge as an efficient, sustainable business with a clear course for returning to growth.”
World TeamTennis says it is planning to allow up to 500 spectators at outdoor matches during its three-week season from July 12 to Aug. 2 at a resort in West Virginia.
All tennis events sanctioned by the ATP, WTA and International Tennis Federation are on hold at least until late July because of the coronavirus pandemic.
But the WTT is not affiliated with those tours and does not need to abide by their decisions about when it is OK to compete. No ATP or WTA ranking points are available for its matches.
The WTT says it is increasing its prize money to $5 million. That is $1.5 million more than for its 2019 season.
The league is bringing all nine of its teams to one site at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, because of the pandemic instead of having matches around the United States.
More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports