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Season for Bucs, Curve will be delayed

The Pittsburgh Pirates and Altoona Curve will see the start of their seasons delayed because of coronavirus concerns.

Major League Baseball suspended operations Thursday, postponing spring training two weeks ahead of the start of the regular season. The league expects the start of the season to be pushed back by at least two weeks, into early April.

Those decisions were made by Commissioner Rob Manfred after a conference call with team owners.

“The Pirates are in full agreement with and supportive of the Commissioner’s decision,” Pirates owner Bob Nutting said in a team statement. “As this situation evolves, so too will our response. What will not change, however, is how much we care about our fans, players and employees and the well-being of our community.

“Our front office team will continue to meet on a daily basis and will remain in constant communication with our medical expert partners at AHN and Highmark, as well as with Major League Baseball and government officials. We will provide information on any new developments and impacts as they become available. Together we will work through this unprecedented situation as we look forward to the return of baseball as soon as possible.”

The Curve’s season was slated to begin April 9, but that will be delayed for an uncertain amount of time. The fate of the minor league team’s season, obviously, is tied to any decisions made by Major League Baseball.

“We don’t know when we’re going to start,” Curve general manager Derek Martin said Thursday, shortly after he was on a conference call with the Eastern League.

“We’re told that our season will be delayed.”

The Curve also announced Thursday that they’re “suspending all activities and access to Peoples Natural Gas Field until further notice.”

“The most important part for us is the public safety and our employee safety,” Martin said.

The Curve staff will still be available by phone, email or social media.

The State College Spikes on Wednesday postponed their annual SpikesFest event, which was scheduled to be held tomorrow at the Penn State Indoor Multi-Sport Facility.

“We support the university’s leadership role in prioritizing the safety of our community, and pledge to do our part. We continue to look forward to celebrating our upcoming 15th season this summer,” the Spikes said in a team statement.

The Spikes’ season is not scheduled to begin until June 18, and as of now, that starting date would not seem to be in jeopardy.

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