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COVID and the craziness of sports in 2020

Beginning with the unexpected coaching change by the Golden Knights in January, 2020 was a year like no other in Las Vegas sports.

Games were canceled and postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic that wreaked havoc on the local sports scene, resulting in the Raiders playing their inaugural season at Allegiant Stadium before no fans.

Here is a timeline of how the year has played out:

Jan. 15

— Golden Knights fire Gerard Gallant and hire Pete DeBoer

— Raiders sell out PSLs.

Jan. 22

Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4, center) pump a fist to the crowd after hammering a ...
Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4, center) pump a fist to the crowd after hammering a ceremonial sign into the ground during the official announcement ceremony for the the at Allegiant Stadium on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, in Las Vegas. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Left_Eye_Images

— Oakland Raiders officially become Las Vegas Raiders.

Feb. 1

— Golden Knights’ affiliation with Chicago Wolves will end, official says.

Feb. 6

— Golden Knights buy San Antonio’s American Hockey League franchise.

Feb. 13

— Golden Knights announce new AHL team will play at 6,000-seat arena in Henderson.

Feb. 24

— Golden Knights trade for Robin Lehner, sending the Blackhawks Malcolm Subban and other assets.

Feb. 28

— AHL board of governors approves transfer of San Antonio Rampage to Golden Knights.

March 6

Utah Jazz's Rudy Gobert shoots the ball in a pregame warmup before an NBA basketball game again ...
Utah Jazz's Rudy Gobert shoots the ball in a pregame warmup before an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Kim Raff)

— Kathy Olivier resigns as UNLV women’s basketball coach.

March 7

— Utah State wins Mountain West men’s basketball tournament.

March 11

NBA halts season after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tests positive for COVID.

— CBI tournament canceled over COVID concerns.

March 12

— NHL suspends season.

— NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments canceled.

— Clark County School District suspends all sports and extracurricular activities.

— Pac-12 Conference cancels men’s basketball tournament.

— Western Athletic Conference cancels men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.

— Mountain West suspends spring sports seasons.

March 16

— NFL cancels draft in Las Vegas.

The next batch of NFL stars will hear their names called in the 2020 NFL Draft outside of Caesa ...
The next batch of NFL stars will hear their names called in the 2020 NFL Draft outside of Caesars Forum in Las Vegas. (NFL)

— NASCAR suspends season.

— UFC postpones three events and temporarily closes headquarters.

March 13

— NIAA suspends all sanctioned sports

March 18

— Lindy La Rocque is hired as UNLV women’s basketball coach.

March 26

— Mountain West suspends in-person athletic activities, affecting spring football practices.

March 30

— NCAA Division I council approves spring-sports athletes receiving an extra year of eligibility.

April 3

— WNBA postpones season.

April 14

— Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame postpones induction ceremony until 2021.

April 23

— NFL announces Las Vegas will host 2022 draft.

In this still image from video provided by the NFL, Henry Ruggs III gets ready to put on a Las ...
In this still image from video provided by the NFL, Henry Ruggs III gets ready to put on a Las Vegas Raiders cap after being selected by the team in the first round of the NFL football draft Thursday, April 23, 2020. (NFL via AP)

— Raiders draft Henry Ruggs and Damon Arnette in first round.

May 9

— Live sports returns, though without fans, at UFC 249 in Jacksonville, Fla.

May 11

— AHL cancels remainder of season and playoffs.

May 19

— Henderson City Council approves $80 million, 6,000-seat minor-league hockey arena.

May 22

— NHL Players Association executive committee approves 24-team postseason plan.

May 26

— Golden Knights named Pacific Division champions.

May 27

— Nevada Athletic Commission approves return of combat sports.

May 28

A Henderson Silver Knights banner hangs at Lifeguard Arena in Henderson during a tour, Friday, ...
A Henderson Silver Knights banner hangs at Lifeguard Arena in Henderson during a tour, Friday, June 26, 2020. (Erik Verduzco / Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Erik_Verduzco

— New AHL team named Henderson Silver Knights.

May 30

— Combat sports return to Las Vegas with UFC Fight Night at UFC Apex.

June 1

— Mountain West allows athletes to return to campus to participate in voluntary workouts and announces cost-cutting measures.

June 2

— NFL mandates training camps be held at host facilities.

June 4

— NBA approves plan to finish season at centralized location at Disney World.

June 8

— Golden Knights begin working out in small groups.

June 11

— NFL cancels in-person minicamps.

June 15

— WNBA announces plans to play 22-game regular-season schedule in bubble setting in Bradenton, Fla.

June 23

— Major League Baseball announces it will play a 60-game schedule at home stadiums.

July 1

— NHL reportedly chooses Toronto and Edmonton, Alberta, as its two hub cities for the playoffs, bypassing Las Vegas.

Arizona Coyotes and Vegas Golden Knights players warm up for an NHL hockey exhibition game in E ...
Arizona Coyotes and Vegas Golden Knights players warm up for an NHL hockey exhibition game in Edmonton, Alberta, Thursday July 30, 2020. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

July 7

— Henderson City Council approves additional $1.2 million in spending for Lifeguard Arena.

July 10

— NHL and NHLPA approve return-to-play plan.

— UNLV’s football games against Arizona State and California canceled.

July 11

— UFC 251 takes place at so-called “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi.

July 13

— Golden Knights re-open training camp.

July 20

— Southern Nevada Football Coaches Association cancels summer strength and conditioning programs.

— Mountain West football media days postponed.

July 23

— Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association postpones fall sports until the spring.

The Las Vegas Raiders headquarters and practice facility photographed on Wednesday, July 8, 202 ...
The Las Vegas Raiders headquarters and practice facility photographed on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, in Henderson. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye

July 28

— Raiders open training camp at Henderson headquarters.

Aug. 3

— Robin Lehner and Ryan Reaves as well as two Dallas Stars players kneel during the American and Canadian national anthems.

Aug. 5

— Mountain West approves eight-game conference and two-game nonconference football schedule.

Aug. 6

— UNLV-Iowa State football game postponed until 2030.

Aug. 7

— UNLV-Louisiana Tech football game canceled.

Aug. 9

— Las Vegas resident Collin Morikawa wins PGA Championship.

Aug. 10

— Mountain West postpones fall sports.

Aug. 11

— Big Ten, Pac-12 cancel fall football

Aug. 21

— Raiders practice at Allegiant Stadium for first time.

Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) greets his teammates as the come through the tunne ...
Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) greets his teammates as the come through the tunnel during a team practice at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Friday, Aug. 21, 2020. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @HeidiFang

Aug. 24

— PGA Tour moves CJ Cup from South Korea to Shadow Creek.

Aug. 27

— NHL players protest shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wisc., resulting in postponement of Golden Knights’ Game 3 against the Canucks in the Western Conference semifinals.

— Aces’ game among three postponed because of Wisconsin shooting.

Aug. 31

— Clark County issues unconditional permit of occupancy for Allegiant Stadium.

Sept. 9

— NFR announces it will relocate this year to Arlington, Texas, but an extra year is added to the Las Vegas contract to keep the rodeo event at Thomas & Mack Center through at least 2025.

Sept. 13

— Raiders play their first game as Las Vegas’ team, rallying to beat the Panthers in Charlotte, N.C.

— Aces beat Seattle Storm to capture No. 1 seed in WNBA playoffs.

Sept. 14

— Golden Knights eliminated by Stars in five games in Western Conference Final.

Dallas Stars' goalie Anton Khudobin (35) makes a save and covers the puck against the Vegas Gol ...
Dallas Stars' goalie Anton Khudobin (35) makes a save and covers the puck against the Vegas Golden Knights during second-period NHL Western Conference final playoff game action in Edmonton, Alberta, Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

— NFL warns teams face coverings must be properly worn.

Sept. 17

— A’ja Wilson named WNBA MVP.

Sept. 21

— Raiders play first game in Allegiant Stadium, beating the Saints before a Monday night national TV audience.

— Jon Gruden says that he’s had COVID.

— Mountain West-Atlantic 10 Conference Challenge men’s basketball series canceled for this year.

Sept. 22

NFL fines Raiders $250,000 and Jon Gruden $100,000 for Gruden not properly wearing a mask during game against Saints.

Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden shouts from the sideline in the 4th quarter of an NFL f ...
Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden shouts from the sideline in the 4th quarter of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints on Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, at at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Heidi Fang

Sept. 24

— Mountain West approves playing conference-only eight-game season that begins Oct. 24.

Sept. 27

— Kurt Busch ends 0-for-21 skid at hometown track when he takes South Point 400.

Sept. 28

— Several Raiders are seen not wearing masks at Darren Waller’s fundraiser.

— Gov. Steve Sisolak creates a path for teams to play before fans by allowing up to 250 spectators unless the venue holds at least 2,500. It’s up to 10 percent of capacity for those venues.

Sept. 29

— Aces advance to WNBA Finals by eliminating Connecticut Sun in five games.

Oct. 1

— NFL sends memo saying events like Darren Waller’s fundraiser are off limits.

Oct. 2

— Gov. Steve Sisolak eases restrictions on some recreational sports.

— Golden Knights unveil third jersey.

The Vegas Golden Knights third jersey is displayed at City National Arena in Las Vegas, Friday, ...
The Vegas Golden Knights third jersey is displayed at City National Arena in Las Vegas, Friday, Oct. 2, 2020. (Erik Verduzco / Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Erik_Verduzco

Oct. 3

— Golden Knights sign Robin Lehner to five-year, $25 million contract.

— Raiders fined $50,000 for “allowing a non-credentialed employee” into locker room after Saints game.

— DragonRidge Country Club fined $2,000 by the city of Henderson for violating state COVID protocols during Darren Waller fundraiser.

— Lights become first local team to play before fans since the shutdown when 250 attend home finale, a loss to Orange County SC.

Oct. 5

— Darren Waller fined $30,000 from the NFL, Derek Carr $15,000 and several other Raiders docked for not wearing masks at Waller fundraiser.

Oct. 6

— Aces swept by Seattle Storm in WNBA Finals.

— Golden Knights take Michigan freshman Brendan Brisson in first round of NHL draft.

Oct. 9

— Golden Knights trade Paul Stastny.

Las Vegas Raiders strong safety Jeff Heath (38) celebrates with Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Tr ...
Las Vegas Raiders strong safety Jeff Heath (38) celebrates with Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Trayvon Mullen (27), Las Vegas Raiders inside linebacker Cory Littleton (42) and Las Vegas Raiders strong safety Johnathan Abram (24) after Heath intercepted a pass in the fourth quarter during an NFL football game with the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, at Arrowhead Stadium, in Kansas City, Mo. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @benjaminhphoto

Oct. 11

— Raiders beat defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs for team’s first victory in Kansas City in seven years.

Oct. 11

— Los Angeles Lakers beat Miami Heat in six games to tie Boston Celtics with 17th championship.

— Martin Laird wins Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

Oct. 12

— Golden Knights sign prized free agent Alex Pietrangelo. The domino effect forces Knights to trade fan favorite Nate Schmidt, but they retain star Marc-Andre Fleury.

— DragonRidge Country Club fined $10,930 by Nevada’s OSHA for violations during Darren Waller fundraiser.

Oct. 14

— NCAA awards Las Vegas a 2023 men’s basketball regional, 2026 men’s hockey Frozen Four and several other championship events.

— Pro Bowl scheduled this season for Allegiant Stadium postponed until 2022.

— Raiders propose hosting 2024 Super Bowl.

Oct. 15

— UNLV’s football program has multiple positive COVID-19 tests, but it’s less than 2.5 percent.

— Las Vegas Motor Speedway announces Dodge NHRA Finals will have limited spectators.

Oct. 21

— Raiders offensive line sent home because of COVID-19 protocols.

— Fourth version of Golden Knights jersey leaked online.

Oct. 23

— UNLV announces up to 2,000 fans allowed for each of its first two football games.

Oct. 24

— Marcus Arroyo makes UNLV football coaching debut, but Rebels lose to San Diego State in Carson, Calif.

Oct. 27

— Los Angeles Dodgers beat Tampa Bay Rays in six games to win the World Series before a limited crowd in Arlington, Texas.

Oct. 31

UNLV Rebels players run onto the field before taking on the Wyoming Cowboys in a football game ...
UNLV Rebels players run onto the field before taking on the Wyoming Cowboys in a football game at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @csstevensphoto

— UNLV plays its first football game at Allegiant Stadium, losing to UNR.

Nov. 1

— Trent Brown hospitalized after IV mishap before Raiders’ game at Cleveland.

Nov. 5

NFL fines Raiders $500,000 and Jon Gruden $150,000 and strips the club of a sixth-round draft pick because of violations of COVID-19 protocols. Trent Brown on COVID reserve list for second time.

Nov. 9

— Mountain West switches from an 18-game to 20-game conference men’s and women’s basketball season.

Nov. 10

Work continues outside during opening day at the Henderson Silver Knights practice facility wit ...
Work continues outside during opening day at the Henderson Silver Knights practice facility within Lifeguard Arena on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020, in Henderson. L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Left_Eye_Images

Lifeguard Arena opens to the public.

Nov. 14

— New Mexico’s football team, which has moved to Las Vegas to train and play because of COVID-19 restrictions in its state, plays its first game as home team at Sam Boyd Stadium. The Lobos lose to UNR.

Nov. 16

— UNLV announces its final two football games and the beginning of the men’s and women’s basketball seasons will be played without fans.

Nov. 18

— UNLV-Colorado State football game canceled.

Ten Raiders defensive players placed on NFL’s COVID-19 reserve list.

Dec. 1

— CCSD cancels winter sports seasons.

Dec. 2

— UNLV-Boise State football game canceled.

A view of the Las Vegas Bowl trophy before a media event at Maverick Helicopters ahead of the L ...
A view of the Las Vegas Bowl trophy before a media event at Maverick Helicopters ahead of the Las Vegas Bowl game between Boise State and Washington in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @csstevensphoto

Las Vegas Bowl canceled.

Dec. 3

NFR begins in Arlington, Texas.

Dec. 5

— Former Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict arrested on misdemeanor battery charge.

Dec. 6

— Derek Carr completes 46-yard touchdown pass to Henry Ruggs with five seconds left to give Raiders victory over the Jets, resulting in New York firing its defensive coordinator,

— Findlay Prep plans to revive its boys basketball program.

Dec. 8

— UNLV-Eastern Washington men’s basketball game canceled.

—Oakland Athletics retain Aviators as their top farm team.

Dec. 13

Las Vegas Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther takes a moment to consider things during ...
Las Vegas Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther takes a moment to consider things during warm ups at the Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020, in Henderson. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Left_Eye_Images

Paul Guenther is fired as Raiders defensive coordinator, and defensive line coach Rod Marinelli is named the interim DC for the rest of the season.

Dec. 14

— UNLV-Pepperdine men’s basketball game canceled.

Dec. 15

— UNLV men’s basketball coach T.J. Otzelberger tests positive for COVID-19.

— UNLV wide receiver Kyle Williams named Mountain West freshman of the year.

Dec. 16

— Mountain West revises men’s basketball schedule.

Dec. 17

— Raiders quarterback Derek Carr injures groin in loss to Los Angeles Chargers but does not miss his following start.

Dec. 20

NHL finalizes deal to open season Jan. 13.

Dec. 21

— UNLV men’s basketball pauses activities through the remainder of the calendar year.

Dec. 23

Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland talks about his contract at City National Arena in La ...
Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland talks about his contract at City National Arena in Las Vegas on Wednesday, July 24, 2019. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @csstevensphoto

— Longtime Las Vegas resident Deryk Engelland retires from the Golden Knights and takes a job with the organization’s charity foundation.

— Golden Knights release season schedule.

— UNLV men’s basketball postpones San Diego State series that was scheduled for Jan. 2 and 4.

Contact Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @markanderson65 on Twitter.

Contact Rochelle Richards at rrichards@reviewjournal.com. Follow @RoRichards24 on Twitter.

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