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D-backs’ series in Mexico City canceled due to coronavirus delay

General view of Alfredo Harp Helu Stadium during the friendly game between San Diego Padres and Diablos Rojos at Alfredo Harp Helu Stadium on March 24, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)

The Arizona Diamondbacks’ scheduled series in Mexico City against the San Diego Padres has been canceled as MLB’s season is halted by the coronavirus, MLB announced Thursday.

The series, which was scheduled for April 18-19 at the newly built Alfredo Harp Helu Stadium, was set to see the first regular season games ever played in Mexico City.

“It breaks our heart we won’t be playing in front of the incredible fans in México this year, but health and safety come first,” the D-backs said in a tweet. “We promise we’ll be back soon.”

The New York Mets and Miami Marlins additionally had a series scheduled for April 28-30 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Those also were canceled.

A tweet from MLB Communications said the games will be rescheduled in the teams’ home cities. The Diamondbacks’ online schedule shows those games as home games for Arizona.

“It’s tough, but it’s understandable. I certainly understand why,” D-backs CEO Derrick Hall told Arizona Sports’ Doug & Wolf on Thursday. “We were excited to have been chosen. I hope we’ll get to play those games again, be it next year. Who knows? Some point this season, I doubt it will be this season. But we have a great amount of investment over the years in Mexico. The fans were really excited about us going there and I think it will happen again.”

The games are just the latest of many sporting events across North America and throughout the world to be canceled or postponed as the COVID-19 outbreak spreads.

While the games won’t go on, playing south of the border isn’t an unknown to the D-backs.

During spring training last year, the D-backs traveled to Monterrey, Mexico for a two-game series against another NL West foe in the Colorado Rockies. The games marked the 11th time Arizona has played in Mexico, the most by any MLB team.

Major League Baseball initially announced that its season would be delayed two weeks because of the coronavirus. A recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) earlier this week said gatherings of 50 or more people should be canceled or postponed for the next eight weeks. MLB further delayed its season in accordance with that.

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