We learned earlier this week the 2020 MLB season is set to begin July 23, but what we still don't know is if fans will be allowed to attend games at any point during the year.
The Boston Red Sox are at least hopeful that fans will eventually be able to come to Fenway Park.
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Red Sox president Sam Kennedy spoke to reporters on a Zoom conference call Wednesday night, and one topic he responded to was the possibility of fans cheering on the Red Sox from the Fenway Park seats in 2020.
"We are hopeful to have fans at some point," Kennedy said. "We need fans at Fenway Park. Our fans give us a competitive advantage. I can tell you there are clubs around Major League Baseball that are anticipating having fans in their ballparks. It's an incredibly important part of our business and of our baseball operations, so we’d like to get to that point. But I can’t tell you when that would happen. But we are working through the protocols that would be required to pursue the opportunity some day in the future.”
Fans coming back to Fenway Park likely would hinge on several different factors, including what the COVID-19 situation looks like in Massachusetts over the next few months. The data in Massachusetts has been encouraging over the last week. That said, it's important not to re-open too quickly.
We all want to return to a sense of normalcy, and for many people, including Kennedy, that means going to Fenway Park every summer to watch baseball. Kennedy doesn't know for sure if fans will be in the Fenway stands this year, but it's something that will be considered when/if the time is right.
“I want to make sure I’m clear. I hope that we can have fans back in the stands because of the competitive advantage that it gives you to have fans, but I don’t know that we will," Kennedy said. "It’s probably a little bit of me, personally, just projecting my own hope that fans will be back at Fenway Park. I just anticipate it being extremely odd when we get going playing Major League Baseball games in front of no fans, it being a strange environment. It is, I think, important that if we do it and can do it, we do it in a safe and responsible way following CDC guidelines for social distancing, cleanliness, face coverings and the like. We’ll see how it goes.
"I think it’s incredibly important that we start, when it’s safe, to start to try and get back to some sense of normalcy. I know, for me, that's always been going to baseball games, and I think our fans want that, and ultimately I think our players want that. I think we all want to start to try to get back to some sense of normalcy when it's safe and appropriate. And just to be clear, I don't have a timetable on that, but I personally hope it's as soon as humanly possible."