Skiers participating in the World Cup Finals in Italy next month will be competing in front of an empty house ... 'cause spectators have been BANNED from the event due to the coronavirus scare.
Of course, the disease has made its way to Northern Italy ... with 12 people dead and 400 others infected in that region. Globally, there are 80,000 confirmed cases with more than 2,600 deaths.
Given the World Cup Final going down from March 18-22 at Cortina d’Ampezzo Ski Resort, organizers are clearly concerned ... but the International Ski Federation has decided to NOT cancel the event. Instead, they will limit the amount of people who can attend by banning casual spectators.
"As it stands Cortina is still where the competition will be held, but with no fans," event director Markus Waldner told SVT in Sweden. Waldner noted the plans could change (possible relocation) if the disease continues to spread.
The entire sports world seems to be affected by the coronavirus scare -- the Boston Red Sox placed one of their top prospects in quarantine, the Michigan football team canceled their annual overseas trip and the International Olympic Committee is considering canceling the 2020 Games in Tokyo.