Washington Nationals game postponed due to hazardous air quality in DC from wildfire smoke

The Yankees and Phillies rescheduled games on Wednesday due to the wildfire smoke.

The wildfire smoke blanketing the Northeast continues to postpone sporting events because of concerns over hazardous air quality issues.

Major League Baseball officials opted to postpone Thursday's game between the Washington Nationals and Arizona Diamondbacks due to unhealthy air quality as a result of hundreds of wildfires burning in Canada. 

The Nationals game will be made up on June 22 at 1:05 p.m. All tickets and parking passes for Thursday's game will be honored for the rescheduled game. 

The DC Metro area woke up to very unhealthy and even hazardous air quality on Thursday, according to the Air Quality Index.

The Nationals Diamondbacks game is the latest professional sports game to be rescheduled due to the smoky conditions. 

Yankees, Phillies still on track to play postponed games Thursday

On Wednesday, the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox game was postponed to Thursday as New York City experienced the worst air quality conditions in the city's history.

The game is now scheduled for 4:05 p.m. Thursday, becoming the first of a doubleheader. Tickets for the June 7 game can be exchanged for tickets to a similar 2023 game, per the team's rain check policy. Only tickets dated Thursday, June 8, will be valid for Thursday's game.

By Wednesday, when MLB postponed the game, New York City's AQI was over 400 ppm, with 500 being the highest on the AQI scale.

The air quality in New York City on Thursday has improved slightly but is still very unhealthy.

The Yankees and the White Sox played through a thick haze Tuesday when New York City was under unhealthy air quality levels, but by Wednesday, the levels worsened to hazardous levels on the Air Quality Index.

The postponement left some fans feeling disappointed. Tracy Lee said he and his granddaughter were visiting New York City from Minnesota and hoping to watch Wednesday night's game. 

"We’re here. We can’t wait to go," Lee told FOX Weather outside Yankees Stadium. "I’ve been waiting 45 years to watch a Yankees game live. I watch them when they come and play in Minnesota, but it isn’t the same."

The Philadelphia Phillies also postponed their game against the Detroit Tigers because of air quality concerns. The game has been rescheduled for 6:05 p.m. Thursday. All Wednesday tickets will be valid at Thursday's game.

These are the first MLB games to be postponed because of smoky conditions since the San Francisco Giants game against the Seattle Mariners in September 2020.

In Upstate New York, the threat of poor air quality forced the postponement of the Syracuse Mets game. The team said their Tuesday's game against the Lehigh IronPigs' would be rescheduled to a later date.

More than baseball

The New York Racing Association canceled Thursday's horse races due to the air quality and Wednesday's workouts were called off.

During a news conference on Thursday, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said the races will be canceled if the Air Quality Index is over 200.

"We have instituted enhanced measures to protect the horses and the riders and the spectators. Yesterday, we decided in my direction the Gaming Commission directed all tracks to stop workouts and trainings yesterday," Hochul said. "If the air quality exceeds 200 at the facility, at any facility, there will be no racing."

Hochul said if the air quality is between 150 and 200 ppm, only horses that pass additional pre-race vet examinations will race.

As of Thursday afternoon, the 155th running of the Belmont Stakes, the Triple Crown's oldest race, is still slated for Saturday.

On Wednesday, the National Women's Soccer League opted to postpone the NJ/NY Gotham FC and Orlando Pride match due to the air quality conditions. 

According to the WNBA, the game between the Minnesota Lynx and the New York Liberty that was scheduled to be played Wednesday night has been postponed because of air quality concerns. It was not immediately clear when the game would be played.