The outbreak of the COVID-19 strain of the coronavirus has led to a sweeping list of closures, postponements and suspensions as the federal, state and local leaders attempt to respond to the growing pandemic.
Downtown, which holds major sporting venues like Staples Center, and arts and entertainment hubs like the Music Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art, has been particularly hit, with a number of popular events shuttering due to the outbreak.
Below is a rundown of announced cancellations and postponements in and around Downtown, as of Friday, March 13.
The NBA, NHL and Staples Center: The National Basketball Association was the first of the big three sport organizations in the United States to postpone games due to COVID-19 related concerns.
On Wednesday, March 11, the NBA announced that it was postponing the season following the announcement that the Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert had tested positive for the virus. The league had discussed potentially playing games without fans, but changed course now that the virus has seemingly infiltrated NBA locker rooms. According to a statement from the league, the NBA will determine additional steps forward during the hiatus. As of press time, it remains unclear when the season will resume.
The NBA had already begun taking precautions prior to the announcement. Members of the media were barred from entering the locker rooms for interviews, instead holding press conferences within roped off locations around the players, coaches and executives.
The Los Angeles Lakers tweeted that fans who purchased tickets for any of the suspended games can request refunds at the point of purchase. The Los Angeles Clippers, who share Downtown’s Staples Center with Lakers, said tickets would be honored for rescheduled games.
The National Hockey League also announced a league wide suspension of games. The NHL, including the Staples Center’s Los Angeles Kings, had around 189 games remaining, with the season scheduled to end on April 6.
“Our goal is to resume play as soon as it is appropriate and prudent, so that we will be able to complete the seasons and award the Stanley Cup,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a prepared statement.
Major League Baseball: On Thursday, Major League Baseball Commissioner Robert Manfred Jr. announced that it was suspending Spring Training games and postponing the start of the regular season by at least two weeks. The regular season was originally slated to start on March 26.
According to a statement, the MLB is monitoring the situation to see how to proceed. World Baseball Classic qualifying games in Arizona were also cancelled.
“Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our players, employees and fans. MLB will continue to undertake the precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts,” the statement read.
The Los Angeles Dodgers released a statement the same day informing fans that additional information regarding ticket refunds for impacted games would be released in the near future.
Collegiate Sports: In the world of collegiate sports, the NCAA announced on Thursday that it was cancelling the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, as well as the remaining winter and spring NCAA championship games. A leg of the NCAA championship was scheduled to be played at Staples Center.
“This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities,” the NCAA said in a prepared statement.
The decision came after every major conference basketball tournament announced cancellations, including the Pac-12 Championship games, which was originally scheduled to be played in Las Vegas last week. It was later announced that the Pac-12, which includes the University of Southern California, was closing all sporting events, due to coronavirus concerns. USC spring football was also suspended.
Theater and Music
The Music Center: Bunker Hill’s Music Center, which includes four venues, announced on March 12 that it was shutting down its spaces through the end of the month. In addition, Center Theatre Group (which operates the Mark Taper Forum and Ahmanson Theatre) announced outright cancelations of plays currently running, or set to open this month at its venues. Alongside shows, public tours of the Music Center’s facilities are also cancelled for the time being. The suspension could be extended beyond March 31, depending on County health recommendations.
Current ticketholders are asked to contact each respective venue’s box office to get refunds and credit for future shows. Shows canceled include:
n The Book of Mormon, running through March 28 at the Ahmanson Theatre has had the rest of its production canceled.
n The production of Annie Baker’s play The Antipodes was set for a March 25 launch at Mark Taper Forum, to run through April 26. That has been canceled.
n Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre was supposed to launch a five-day, seven-performance run at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Wednesday-Sunday, March 18-22. That has also been called off.
The Roy and Edna Disney/Cal Arts Theater or REDCAT has postponed shows running through April 12. That includes dance performance Susana Gamson/World Wide: Sugar Houses (March 25-29), film screening Christine Panuskha: Blood of the Family Tree (April 6) and Indonesian dancer Rianto’s Medium (April 10-11). New dates have not been announced.
The Los Angeles Theatre Center: The Spring Street venue currently has shows scheduled through March, but has postponed its whole spring season.
East West Players: The theater company was set to open it’s take on Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins on March 19 but announced on Thursday that it too was cancelled.
CAP UCLA: Alongside Royce Hall, UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance stages shows in Downtown’s Theatre at Ace Hotel. All shows through April 10 have been officially postponed. That includes Philip Glass and Jerry Quickley’s Whistleblower.
The Colburn School: The Grand Avenue music school announced that it was suspending in-person instruction, performances and events until at least April 13.
E3: The Entertainment Software Association announced that this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo or E3 has been fully canceled. The annual video game convention is usually the site of major announcements and product reveals, and was set to take place June 9-11 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
The ESA is working to refund tickets, and said that it is exploring plans to do online, streamed announcements in lieu of a physical conference.
Ru Paul’s Drag Con: Reality TV star Ru Paul’s annual Ru Paul’s DragCon has also been canceled this year. The event was set to take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center on May 1-3, but organizers announced last week that it’s not happening. “Unfortunately, there’s no way for anyone to know what the situation will be like in May. Due to that uncertainty, and out of an abundance of caution, we’ve decided that it’s in the best interest of the talent, staff, and attendees to cancel RuPaul’s DragCon LA 2020,” organizers said in a statement. Tickets are being refunded.
City Hall: Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez announced a reduction in the amount of public meetings at City Hall in a letter to colleagues on Thursday. According to the letter, the number of council meetings per week will be dropped to one per week through March. All committee meetings were also canceled and Martinez also called for a reduction in the number of City and Council staffers on the council floor during meetings.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced on Wednesday that all non-essential public events with 50 or people will be postponed or canceled. The city also plans to stagger entry into public buildings to no more than 50 individuals at a time.
Union Station: As of press time, Union Station has not announced any reduction of transit services, but all public events at the transit hub have been canceled for 30 days (starting on Thursday, March 12). That includes live music and comedy shows originally scheduled to happen in March.
Los Angeles Public Library: The Los Angeles Public Library announced on Thursday that it was cancelling all programs, events and meeting room bookings through the end of March. All of the library’s 73 branches will remain open and will continue providing services during standard hours. “The health and safety of our patrons and staff are our priority, and we are suspending public programs at the direction of health authorities and out of an abundance of caution,” City Librarian John F. Szabo said in a prepared statement.
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles: The Museum of Contemporary Art’s Geffen Contemporary in Downtown Los Angeles announced that it was cancelling it’s L.A. Art Book Fair “in the best interest of everyone in the extended MOCA and L.A. Art Book Fair’s communities,” according to a letter from the nonprofit Printed Matter. The event was originally scheduled for April 3-5.