NASCAR Return Date
NASCAR officially confirmed the schedule for its first two races back: The Cup Series will race on Sunday, May 17 (3:30 p.m. ET) at Darlington Raceway and again on Wednesday, May 20 (7:30 p.m. ET) at the same location, before moving on to Charlotte for a Sunday, May 24 race (6 p.m. ET) and another Wednesday night race on May 27 (8 p.m. ET).
NASCAR will also have XFINITY and Truck Series events in between the Cup races. You can see the full schedule here.
NASCAR did not announce any races beyond May 27, though The Athletic, which had previously reported the plan laid out above, also said the sport is planning to head to Martinsville on Sunday, May 31; Bristol on Wednesday, June 3; Atlanta on Sunday, June 7; and Homestead-Miami on Sunday, June 14.
College Football Start Date
ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who’s certainly plugged into all levels of football, reported on April 9 that there’s “strong conviction” among college football decision-makers that we’ll have a 2020 season. The start time is uncertain, but, Schefter reported, “they sound certain there still will be college football this season.”
NFL Start Date
According to the Sports Business Journal, the NFL is actively working on back-up plans should the league be unable to start on Sept. 10.
The NFL is set to reveal its regular schedule in May, and as part of that exercise it’s building in the potential that it might not be able to start until mid-October. SBJ reports that if the season can’t start until then, the NFL would still play a 16-game schedule, but there would be no bye weeks, the Super Bowl would move from Feb. 7 to Feb. 28 and the bye week between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl would be spiked.
ESPN’s Kevin Seifert had previously reported that multiple NFL execs plan to start the season on time. Per executive vice president/general counsel Jeff Pash said during a media briefing, “All of our focus, has been on a normal, traditional season, starting on time, playing in front of fans, in our regular stadiums, and going through a full 16-game regular season and a full set of playoffs.”
Postponed Events/Leagues With No Date Provided
NBA Return Date
Commissioner Adam Silver did a wide-ranging interview with Ernie Johnson on April 6, saying the league won’t provide estimates or a possible return or definitive return dates until at least the beginning of May. “I think it honestly is just too early, given what’s happened right now, to even be able to project or predict where we will be in a few weeks,” Silver said.
The league suspended play on March 12, and in his latest interview on the state of the league Silver said, “The fact is now, sitting here today, I know less than I did then, and I think in some ways, just as I listen to the public health experts and the people advising us, the virus is potentially moving faster than maybe we thought at that point, so maybe it will peak earlier. What that means, in terms of our ability to come back at some point, whether it be in late spring or early summer, is unknown to me.”
Previous reports from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski shortly after the league shutdown had pegged mid-to-late June as the earliest date the NBA could return, but even that feels premature at this point, given Silver’s comments.
NHL Return Date
Commissioner Gary Bettman piggy-backed on Adam Silver’s comments, saying on Tuesday there’s “too much uncertainty” to estimate when the league will return. Bettman also mentioned that he’d like to finish the regular season before jumping into the playoffs, but the more this drags out, the less likely that seems.
MLB Opening Day Date
ESPN MLB reporter Jeff Passan, who’s as plugged in as anyone to the thinking of baseball execs, wrote on Monday that “a number of people in decision-making positions” see the following scenario as realistic:
“Finalize a plan in May. Hash out an agreement with the players by the end of the month or early June. Give players a week to arrive at designated spring training locations. Prepare for three weeks. Start the season in July. Play around an 80- to 100-game season in July, August, September and October. Hold an expanded playoff at warm-weather, neutral sites in November.”
Passan added that all the decision-makers in and around the sport — “league officials, players, union leaders, owners, doctors, politicians, TV power brokers, team executives” — are aligned that MLB will start. “It’s not just that everyone wants a season,” Passan wrote. “It’s the doom and gloom over what will happen if there isn’t one.” When and where the season will begin are much more up in the air, but generally, when all parties involved are motived to have something occur, the details get figured out.
English Premier League Return Date
The EPL is expected to extend its suspension of play beyond April 30, which the league had previously floated as an option.
WNBA Start Date
The WNBA, which had been slated to start its 2020 season on May 15, announced that it will be postponing the start of training camp (and thus, its season) until further notice. The league did not give an estimate on when camp could begin.
The XFL officially canceled its season on March 20. A few weeks later, the upstart football league fired all of its employees and said it has no plans to return in 2021, a quick reversal to their March 20 statement saying that it was “looking forward to playing full seasons for you — and with you — in 2021 and beyond.”