Denny Hamlin

Denny Hamlin, bottom right, leads the field at the start of a race at Martinsville Speedway last October. Steve Helber/Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NASCAR has postponed the May 9 race at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia, which is under a stay-at-home order into June.

NASCAR suspended its season four events into the year when sports shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic. It listed Martinsville as its first race to resume, but acknowledged Friday it will not be able to hold the event.

NASCAR said it is still committed to running all 36 Cup Series races this year and will consider holding events without fans. To date, eight races have been postponed.

NASCAR has privately given teams a revised schedule in which racing would return with the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 24. The revisions call for some weeknight races and doubleheaders through the summer.

“Our intention remains to run all 36 races with a potential return to racing without fans in attendance in May at a date and location to be determined,” NASCAR said. “We will continue to consult with health experts and local, state and federal officials as we assess future scheduling options.”

Races have been postponed at Atlanta, Texas, Bristol, Richmond, Talladega, Dover and now Martinsville. The next event on the NASCAR calendar is the All-Star race on May 16 at Charlotte.

NBA COMMISSIONER Adam Silver said it remains impossible for the NBA to make any decisions about whether to resume this season and that it is unclear when that will change.

But in a clear sign that at least some of the 259 remaining regular-season games that were not played because of the coronavirus pandemic will not be rescheduled, the league announced it will withhold 25% of player pay starting with their May 15 checks.

Silver, speaking after the league’s regularly scheduled April board of governors meeting – one that took place through video conferencing and not the usual in-person setting in New York – said all options remain on the table for trying to resume play and eventually crowning a champion.

“I think there is a sense that we can continue to take the leading role as we learn more in coming up with an appropriate regimen and protocol for returning to business,” Silver said. “There’s a recognition from (owners) that this is bigger than our business; certainly, bigger than sports.”

The salary decision was made in concert with the National Basketball Players Association, the league saying it would “provide players with a more gradual salary reduction schedule” if games are officially canceled or the rest of the season is totally lost.

Players will be paid in full on May 1. The cutback in salary has been expected for some time in response to the NBA’s shutdown that started March 11 and has no end in sight.

Taking 25% out of checks on May 15 – and, presumably, checks on June 1 and June 15 should play not resume by then – would amount to players across the league missing $40 million in each pay period.

Silver said there is no cutoff date in mind for a decision to be made about playing some games or calling everything off.

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER is pushing back restarting the season to at least June 8 and says it is also discussing possible salary cuts with the players’ union.

Teams had played two matches before the season was suspended on March 12 because of the coronavirus pandemic and the league had been looking at possibly resuming play in mid-May. The league would still like to play a full season.

MLS also said it is exploring possible “changes to player compensation” because of the financial hit the league and teams are facing.

“We are seeking to work collaboratively with the MLSPA to find a solution that provides a safety net for all players, opportunity to earn full salary in the scenario where all matches are played with fans, and in particular provides protection for the players at the lower end of the salary scale,” the league said in a statement Friday.

Possible salary cuts of as much as 50% for some players were first reported by ESPN, which cited sources. But those cuts would only kick in if games or the season were canceled.

USA TRACK and Field has laid off seven people from its 65-person staff, and CEO Max Siegel is taking a 20% pay cut to offset lost revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The organization that runs the country’s largest summer sport has been forced to cancel dozens of events, including the Olympic trials, which were scheduled for June. In 2016, trials produced around $5 million in revenue. They will be rescheduled to mesh with the Olympics, which have been pushed into 2021.

Sports Business Daily reported that all the cuts came in divisions that support the 8,000 live events the USATF sanctions each year.

Siegel made $1.14 million in 2017, according to USATF’s most recent public tax filing.


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