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Roughriders season start postponed

WHEELING — The West Virginia Roughriders season will be delayed, the team announced through a press release.

The Roughriders, who play in Wheeling’s WesBanco Arena, are set to compete in the National Arena League this season after winning the American Arena League championship in 2019.

The NAL announced via a press release, which was distributed by the team, that it had opted to delay the start of the upcoming season due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19.

Major sporting events across the country have been canceled or postponed in recent days, with the NHL, NBA and MLB among the leagues suspending their seasons.

The ECHL, the league the Wheeling Nailers, with whom the Roughriders share an arena, canceled the rest of its season late Saturday.

“The fans, players and staff members health and safety is our top priority,” NAL Commissioner Chris Siegfried said in the release. “In recent days, some NAL arenas have made announcements that affect some currently scheduled games. The league is working through multiple scenarios which could include a short delay to the start of our 2020 season. The Board of Directors will monitor the information provided to us and adapt accordingly.

“Since the games have not yet started, it allows the League an opportunity to make any necessary changes.  We want to reassure our fans, players, sponsors and staff members that once this passes, the 2020 NAL season will be played.”  

The Roughriders were scheduled to host the Jacksonville Sharks, the defending NAL champions, on April 4.

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