The Union’s “Meet the Team” event, originally scheduled for March 11 at the Dave and Buster’s on Columbus Boulevard, has been postponed because of growing coronavirus concerns across the region.
The team released a statement Friday explaining its decision after talks with both the Centers for Disease Control and Major League Soccer.
“On the recommendation of Major League Soccer, in consultation with the CDC, all MLS players have been advised to avoid high-fiving and taking items (pens, markers, balls, jerseys, etc.) to sign autographs,” the statement read. “A similar recommendation has been issued by other professional sports leagues. In consideration of these recommendations, the Philadelphia Union will reschedule the March 11 Meet the Team autograph event at Dave and Buster’s.”
The city, state, and local schools have laid out strategies and taken precautions to combat the virus, which had two “presumed positive” cases emerge in Delaware and Wayne Counties Friday morning. Four more “presumed positive” cases have also been reported in New Jersey, including nearby in Camden County.
Coronavirus concerns have also sparked debate about how professional sports events in North America and across the world should proceed.
“Our goal as a club is to create a memorable experience that fans and players look forward to every year," the Union said. "Due to the interactive nature of the Meet the Team event, which consists of autograph signings and photos with players, the Union, in consultation with regional health authorities, Major League Soccer, and our internal medical experts, have decided to reschedule in order to deliver the experience that fans have come to expect.