Major League Baseball is searching for ways the 2020 season can take place and one idea that has been thrown around is playing in empty spring training stadiums.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, MLB is thinking the season could begin play “in Florida or more likely Arizona” in empty stadiums to start things off.
The logistics of this during a pandemic are a nightmare and could prevent the idea from becoming a reality, but it’s on the table as a possibility. The league and its teams would have to figure out how to quarantine the coaches, players and anyone who would be involved in games, both on and off the field.
Having games with fans seems unlikely until a vaccine is available or the league has the ability to guarantee everyone in large groups of people has not contracted the virus. Eliminating crowds minimizes the number of people that need to be virus-free, but guaranteeing the safety of anyone involved would still be difficult.
Having the teams in the same city with no crowds offers an easier way to do that, relatively speaking, but all it would take is one player or stadium worker to test positive for COVID-19 for the whole thing to fall apart. The Cubs recently had two seasonal game-day workers test positive.
Until the country has gone through all its “hotspot” nightmares and hospitals too crowded to treat anyone, and until we know of the pandemic will recur next fall, and until international travel is back, this is simple:
You. Can’t. Play. Sports. https://t.co/tALal4IB0L— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) April 4, 2020
It’s clear MLB is working on finding a solution for the 2020 season, and this one is becoming the most realistic way to start the season in the summer. Things are going to continue to evolve with the many unknowns involved, but this shows MLB is getting creative in its thinking.