One of the biggest tournaments in tennis has been called off as the new coronavirus outbreak continues to wreak havoc globally.
Organizers for the 2020 BNP Paribas Open, otherwise known as the Indian Wells Masters tournament, announced Sunday that the tournament will not be played as scheduled following a confirmed case of the virus in the Coachella Valley.
— BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN) March 9, 2020
The main draw action of the tournament, often regarded as the biggest non-Grand Slam event in the world, was previously scheduled to begin Thursday.
Indian Wells tournament director Tommy Haas indicated in a release that organizers are looking into holding the tournament on another date.
Any patron who has purchased tickets directly from the tournament may request a refund for the 2020 tournament, or a credit for the 2021 tournament.
“There is too great a risk, at this time, to the public health of the Riverside County area in holding a large gathering of this size,” said USC medical professor David Agus in the release. “It is not in the public interest of fans, players and neighboring areas for this tournament to proceed. We all have to join together to protect the community from the coronavirus outbreak.”
Coronavirus’ global impact on events
The tournament is just the latest major event to be called off due to coronavirus over the last few months. Popular arts festival South By Southwest in Austin, video game-focused Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Ultra Music Festival in Miami, the Google I/O conference in Mountain View, California, and so many more events have been cancelled or postponed.
And that’s just in the United States, where the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed less than two months ago.
The virus has also affected the sports world, most notably putting the status of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo in potential doubt. Many sporting events, including soccer matches in Italy and preseason baseball games in Japan, have also been played in front of empty stadiums to reduce fan exposure to the virus.
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