Hurricane Dorian is expected to make landfall in the state of Florida as a category-4 hurricane on Saturday afternoon. While residents of the Gulf Coast prepare for the worst, the area’s sports teams are making plans of their own.
- Two minor league baseball seasons have ended prematurely. The Class A-Advanced Florida State League and the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League have both canceled the remainder of their 2019 seasons, including each league’s postseason. In the GCL, it didn’t hurt that all three (yes, three) divisions had already been clinched. For those curious, neither league declared an official champion for the season.
- As for the Major League Baseball teams in Florida, the Miami Marlins are on the road in Washington, giving the grounds crew at Marlins Park ample time to secure the stadium. The seven-year-old ballpark has had its durability tested in the past, having withstood Hurricane Irma in 2017 and surviving with minimal damage.
- The Tampa Bay Rays play a two game series at home over the weekend against the Cleveland Indians, which will kick off a ten-game homestand. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Rays officials have discussed contingency plans such as postponing games and playing doubleheaders later, or relocating a later series to a neutral site. However, the Tampa area is not expected to receive the worst of Dorian’s wrath, and in any event, the Rays are lucky enough (well, lucky in this instance) to play in a domed stadium.
UPDATE: The Rays have rescheduled their series against the Baltimore Orioles. The first game of the three-game set, which was to be played Monday, will become the first of a doubleheader on Tuesday.
- Two college football kickoffs have been affected. Florida State’s season opener against Boise State tomorrow has been moved from primetime to noon, and has also been moved from neutral Jacksonville to Tallahassee, hopefully out of Dorian’s path. Meanwhile, South Florida’s week one showdown with Wisconsin is expected to beat the hurricane’s landfall by a few hours.
- NWSL’s Orlando Pride have been forced to postpone their match with the Washington Spirit. The game has been moved to October 5th. The team’s sister club in MLS, Orlando City S.C., are at home for their next match against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night, though the club has made no announcement about that match’s status.
This story will be updated with each new development.