SBD/Issue 155/Sports & Society

NBA Paying Close Attention To Swine Flu As Virus Hits Texas

With concerns surrounding the "spread of the swine flu forcing the cancellation of all public school sporting events in Texas through May 11, the NBA is keeping a close eye on the situation in case the impact of the disease" affects the playoffs, according to Chris Mannix of SI.com. Two Texas-based NBA teams are still in the postseason -- the Mavericks have advanced to the second round, while the Rockets tonight will host Game 6 of their first-round series against the Trail Blazers -- and the league maintains that it has "kept an open line of communication with federal health officials." NBA VP/Basketball Communications Tim Frank: "We are monitoring this very closely and following the advice of the CDC and the World Health Organization. There has been no suggestion or direction from any government or health officials that public gatherings should be cancelled or avoided." Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban in an e-mail said, "We are keeping up with all health alerts. [It's] a moving target that we will keep close tabs on" (SI.com, 4/29).

MONITORING THE SITUATION: MLB officials said that they are "monitoring the situation, but as of now have no plans to cancel any games or travel." Indians VP/Ballpark Operations Jim Folk said that the team is "keeping an eye on developments, but that no special precautions have been taken at Progressive Field." Meanwhile, Cavaliers Senior VP/Communications Tad Carper in an e-mail said that the team is "following the situation." Carper: "The Q has located sanitizer stations throughout the main thoroughfares, we're educating our staff and our guest service team (during events) will carry sanitizer. We will also increase our cleaning frequency of restrooms and high traffic areas" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 4/30). 

Precautionary Measures Being Taken Against
Swine Flu At Sporting Events
TURNING OUT: The MLS Fire last night played host to Mexico's Club America at Toyota Park, and the match was "inevitably played against the backdrop of the swine flu outbreak." However, precautionary measures "were scarce in the boisterous crowd" of 17,342, which provided a "stark contrast to the empty Mexico City stadium in which Club America played Sunday as a precautionary measure." Toyota Park officials prior to last night's game "did install 32 hand-sanitizer dispensers throughout the pedestrian concourse" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 4/30).

OTHER EVENTS: The Nationwide Tour has postponed the Mexico Open, scheduled for May 21-24 at El Bosque Golf Club in Leon, Mexico, "because of the swine flu outbreak." Nationwide Tour President Bill Calfee said that the event will be rescheduled for later this season. The golf club is located about 200 miles northwest of Mexico City (AP, 4/29). Also, the Canadian Tour has indefinitely postponed the San Luis Potosi Open in Mexico, which was scheduled to begin today (CP, 4/29). The NASCAR Mexico Series is rescheduling the season's second race, which was scheduled to take place in San Luis Potosi the weeekend of May 2-3 (NASCAR). Meanwhile, Virginia health officials do not believe that the LPGA Corona Championship in Morelia, Mexico, which took place last weekend, "will present any increased danger of exposure to swine flu" at next week's LPGA Michelob Open at Kingsmill Resort & Spa in Williamsburg (Hampton Roads DAILY PRESS, 4/30).

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