Will Coronavirus Affect Boston Marathon? Officials Address Cancellation Chances

Coronavirus might spoil one of the best days of the New England calendar.

Both Boston mayor Marty Walsh and Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker addressed the possibility of the coronavirus forcing officials to postpone or cancel the 2020 Boston Marathon, saying Tuesday events related to the illness could force drastic chances to the race. Coronavirus fears have prompted officials from around the sports world to cancel events, close arenas to fans and take other extraordinary measure to prevent the illness from spreading among large crowds of people.

The Boston Marathon routinely attracts 500-thousand plus spectators and over 30-thousand participants, and Walsh addressed the possibility on WEEI’s “Greg Hill Show” of cancelling or postponing the April 20 event.

“I’m not saying we’re there yet, I think we have many conversations to happen,” Walsh said, per WickedLocal.com. “It’s about can we do a good enough job as a society to self-contain this where we’re not at a situation where it’s kind of out of our control.”

Walsh cancelled Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade and describes the prospects of the Boston Marathon suffering such a fate for the first time in its 124-year history as a “very fluid situation,” according to The Boston Globe’s Martin Finucane and Danny McDonald.

Baker said Tuesday at a press conference he expects an imminent decision about the 2020 Boston Marathon.

“I fully expect a decision to be made soon,” Baker said, according to WHDH’s Justin Dougherty.

Baker also seemingly cautioned against staging large-scale events.

The Boston Athletic Association, which organizes the Boston Marathon, said in a statement it’s closely monitoring Coronavirus-related news and is in close contact with local officials.

“The Boston Athletic Association continues to meet and work closely with city and state officials to ensure a safe and successful Boston Marathon,” the BAA said, per Boston.com’s Jenna Ciccotelli. “”We have been carefully monitoring updates related to coronavirus and as local and national developments come to light have been planning under the guidance of health and municipal agencies.”

The Rome Marathon was cancelled last week, and the Barcelona Marathon has been postponed to Oct. 25.

Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images

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