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College World Series among spring events axed by virus

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The cancellation of the NCAA basketball tournaments shook the nation Thursday, but 27 other men's and women's championships won't be contested this winter and spring, either — and that doesn't include all the sports in Divisions II and III.

The biggest of those events is baseball's College World Series, which will not be held for the first time since 1946.

Omaha has hosted the Division I baseball championship every year since 1950. The CWS has a $70 million annual impact on the local economy each year and produces 10 days of programming inventory for ESPN.

“Devastating. Stunning," UCLA coach John Savage said. "I feel for all the players. I feel for the coaches. I feel for all the programs that work so hard through the fall and January, and to have such a decision to go down so quickly is just really hard to imagine. I feel for the seniors across the country. It's just a really, really sad day.”

The eight-team College World Series is held each June at TD Ameritrade Park and is the culmination of the NCAA baseball tournament, the No. 2 revenue producer for the NCAA. The event draws more than 300,000 fans per year from across the country and is one of Omaha's most anticipated events of the year.

NCAA President Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors canceled the Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments as well as all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships because of the public health threat posed by the spread of the new coronavirus.

For most people, the virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover from the virus.

The wrestling championships were to be held March 19-21 at 60,000-seat U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. It was going to be the first time the event was held in a football stadium, and the total attendance record of 113,743 was expected to be shattered.

The women's ice hockey tournament was scheduled to end March 20 and 22 in Boston, and the men's Frozen Four was set for April 9 and 11 in Detroit.

Besides the College World Series, the top spring sport championships canceled were the men's and women's track and field June 10-13 in Austin, Texas; softball's Women's College World Series May 28-June 3 in Oklahoma City; men's lacrosse final four May 28 and 30 in East Hartford, Connecticut; and the women's lacrosse championship May 22 and 24 in Baltimore.

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