Update on the latest in sports:
Tour de France pushed back 2 months
UNDATED (AP) – This year’s Tour de France will start on Aug. 29 and finish on Sept. 20 and will be followed by cycling’s two other major races.
The International Cycling Union announced the new dates after consulting with race organizer Amaury Sport Organisation. The Tour could not start as scheduled on June 27 because of restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic.
The UCI also says the world championships will go ahead as planned from Sept. 20-27 and will be followed by the Giro d’Italia and the Spanish Vuelta. No official dates were given for those two major races. The UCI says prestigious one-day road classics will be maintained with dates still to be defined.
In other developments related to the coronavirus pandemic:
– Arizona’s governor says his state is willing to host all 30 major league teams when public health concerns allow, which eventually could lead to the start of the baseball season primarily in empty spring training ballparks. MLB and the players’ association have had preliminary discussion of potential ways for the season to start if given the go-ahead by federal, state and local governments and health officials. Having all teams based in the Phoenix area is among the contingency plans being examined. There are 10 spring training parks plus the Diamondbacks’ Chase Field, which has a retractable roof, and several college facilities.
– Major League Baseball is cutting the salary of senior staff by an average of 35% for this year due to the new coronavirus’ impact on the season. MLB is guaranteeing paychecks to its full-time employees of its central office through May. Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the salary cut in a memorandum to staff, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press. Commissioner. He said the commissioner’s office will make all planned distributions to teams through May,
– The parent company that oversees the NHL Buffalo Sabres has announced a series of cost-cutting measures, including layoffs and furloughs affecting 125 employees. Pegula (peh-GOO’-luh) Sports and Entertainment says 104 employees are being furloughed. Another 21 were laid off yesterday, according to a person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. PSE also said more than 36 employees, including management, hockey staff and broadcasters, will have their salaries reduced temporarily. PSE says it will continue to pay health insurance coverage for furloughed employees.
– Speedway Motorsports, owner and operator of eight tracks that host NASCAR’s top Cup Series, has laid off 180 employees and furloughed 100 as part of a company restructuring during the sports shutdown. Speedway Motorsports owns the Atlanta, Bristol, Charlotte, Kentucky, Las Vegas, New Hampshire, Sonoma and Texas tracks. The coronavirus pandemic caused NASCAR to suspend the season just four events into a 36-race schedule. To date, Speedway Motorsports has had its races at Atlanta, Texas and Bristol postponed. Both NASCAR and Speedway Motorsports are hoping to restart the season May 24 with the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
– ESPN is asking some of its on-air personalities to take a 15% pay cut over the next three months because of the coronavirus pandemic. The network says the voluntary pay cuts would apply to ESPN’s highest-paid broadcasters. They are designed to help deter further immediate furloughs that would affect network employees who might be more financially vulnerable. ESPN has already furloughed those who work on live events.