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Coronavirus leads MLS to close locker room access

A small move that could be just the start.

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MLS: Los Angeles Galaxy-Javier Chicharito Hernandez Press Conference Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The ongoing spread of the coronavirus, both here and elsewhere, has lead to multiple North American sports leagues issuing a joint statement on Monday, temporarily suspended postgame media access to locker rooms, with only players and essential personnel allowed inside.

The statement says media availability will still be provided, just not in the locker room.

What does this mean for fans? In one sense, not much. You may not get the same quality quotes, as players may escape media availability easier, but they do that all the time anyway (like Chicharito this weekend, to take but one example).

This could be the tip of the spear regarding ways the coronavirus impacts sporting events in general, however, and that’s something that could impact fans to a much greater extent. It’s worth noting, too, Sam Stejskal’s report on The Athletic, claiming from multiple sources that MLS is more inclined to postpone games rather than play them behind closed doors, because they don’t want to lose the revenue from gameday crowds. Read more about it at The Athletic.

Last week, the California MLS teams were informed they may need to play games behind closed doors or postpone or cancel them, if the risk to public health were compromised enough. That possibility was brought up as a contingency, not imminent but something to keep in mind, and with this move, that possibility could be inching closer if coronavirus continues to spread.

In the short term, the LA Galaxy aren’t at home this week, as they’ll take on Inter Miami in South Florida on Saturday. Their next game at Dignity Health Sports Park will be March 22 against Orlando City SC. Whether more developments to this story unfold in the meantime, we’ll see, and we’ll keep you posted.

What do you think? Are you changing your habits because of coronavirus? Are you concerned about attending games? Let’s chat in the comments.