A day that again saw the U.S. stock market suffer remarkable losses in response to the economic carnage expected to strike the globe as a result of coronavirus, with the Dow's nearly 3,000-point drop marking its worst day since the "Black Monday" crash of 1987, also saw cancellations, postponements and closures reverberate throughout the bowling industry.
In the morning, the Los Angeles Times reported that the "coronavirus lockdown" underway in L.A. explicitly included "bowling alleys" and experiences often associated with bowling entertainment centers, such as arcades, movie theaters, live performance venues, restaurants, bars and other entertainment options.
The United States Bowling Congress, meanwhile, announced that it was suspending all staff travel not deemed mission-critical to the organization "until further notice." Bowl.com now features a page dedicated to coronavirus updates, which can be accessed here.
Also effective yesterday was the suspension of all Wisconsin State USBC Tournaments for the next three weekends as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus. "We are very concerned with the health and welfare of not only our bowlers but the local Association volunteers running the tournaments and the bowling center staff," the Wisconsin State USBC Association posted in an announcement on its website.
Also yesterday afternoon, Billiard and Bowling Institute of America (BBIA) President Jim Land announced in a letter to BBIA membership that the 2020 BBIA Convention, which was to be held April 26-28 in at Omnia Cancun in Cancun, Mexico, had been cancelled amid coronavirus concerns. "I as well as many others are concerned about the safety and comfort of our members and their families and businesses," Land wrote. "It would seem irresponsible to push forward with the uncertainty of what impact this virus can and will have on us both personally and professionally." For more details on the cancellation of the 2020 BBIA Convention, see our report here.
Later yesterday afternoon, the PWBA's 2020 season was postponed indefinitely in response to the Center for Disease Control's (CDC) guidance regarding coronavirus. "The PWBA will evaluate adjustments to the 2020 PWBA Tour schedule after CDC regulations evolve to allow for competition to resume," the announcement read.
Bowling centers continued closing throughout the country as a precaution as well, with Bowlero Lanes & Lounge in Detroit announcing it was closing until further notice "as a precautionary measure to help discourage and prevent the spread of coronavirus within our community."
Pinstripes, a bowling entertainment chain with 13 locations throughout the country, announced it was temporarily closing all locations "following the guidance of government health officials."
WKYC reported that Ohio Governor Mike DeWine's order that businesses close state-wide explicitly included bowling centers. In Arizona, Flagstaff Mayor Coral Evans issued an order closing all bowling centers within the state, among many other types of businesses including bars, restaurants, breweries, gyms, and other establishments.
In Minnesota, Governor Tim Walz similarly ordered the closure of a broad variety of businesses, including bowling centers as well as movie theaters, arcades, cafes and other entertainment options many bowling entertainment centers offer. Similar orders were issued in Illinois and New York.
Keep checking back with BowlersJournal.com or our Facebook or Twitter platforms for further updates on COVID-19's ongoing impact on the bowling industry.