Game off: Coronavirus fears limit global sports events

From the Paris Marathon to professional tennis to alpine skiing, sporting events around the globe have been curbed or canceled due to growing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.

Southern California’s Indian Wells tennis tournament – the sport’s most prestigious event outside of the four major Grand Slams – will not go on as planned Tuesday.

There is “too great a risk at this time,” a tournament doctor explained.

The news followed other major cancellations or postponements…. The Paris marathon has been moved from April to October, the Alpine skiing World Cup finals - scheduled for late March - have been scrapped, and soccer matches in Italy have been either played in empty arenas or completely called off.

The NBA is considering playing its games without fans, and the Olympic torch-lighting ceremony for the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo, held in Greece this week, will prohibit spectators from the celebrated event for the first time in more than 35 years.

The Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix on March 22 will also be held without fans in attendance.

The tiny island nation of Bahrain has reported more than 80 cases of the coronavirus.

And in stadiums where tickets are still being sold - this [shot of fan in mask] is the current face of the sports fan. And this… and this…. [shots of fans in masks.]

Protective face masks making it all the more difficult to cheer on your favorite team or toss back a beer.

In fact, in most arenas hand sanitizers appear to be the liquid of choice….

Along with scoreboards and signage that sometimes seem to offer more information on the virus than on the game itself.