The DC Health Department recommended on Monday that all non-essential mass gatherings of 1,000 or more people be postponed or cancelled through March 31.
The term “non-essential” can be vague. But that means most conventions, concerts and sports games.
Yes, the D.C. government is recommending that the Washington Wizards at a minimum, stop playing games in front of fans. The same goes for the NHL’s Washington Capitals, G-League’s Capital City Go-Go and the MLB’s Washington Nationals, the professional sports in the immediate area who have regular or preseason games this month.
Capital One Arena was supposed to have a Celine Dion concert tonight, but it was postponed yesterday due to the Canadian pop singer having a common cold. The concert is rescheduled for Nov. 16.
POSTPONED! Due to a common cold, Celine Dion has postponed her performance originally schedule for tomorrow night to November 16, 2020. Please see statement from tour below and details on our website https://t.co/bdxX71Fz8D pic.twitter.com/BZ5878lA3g— Capital One Arena (@CapitalOneArena) March 11, 2020
Rapper Nick Cannon has a concert this Friday and rock singer Billie Eilish will perform next Wednesday at Capital One Arena. It remains to be seen if those shows will go on. (No Celine Dion puns intended.)
If the Wizards start playing games in front of empty stands, their next home game will be on Sunday, March 15 when they play the Oklahoma City Thunder. Washington wouldn’t be the first NBA team to play a home game in front of empty stands. That would go to the Golden State Warriors, who host the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday because the San Francisco city government issued an outright ban on mass gatherings earlier today. That ban will be for two weeks.
The D.C. government hasn’t banned anything yet, but if the area sees a spike of confirmed cases in the coming days, we could see Wizards games on television without fans very soon.