As the coronavirus vaccine continues its rollout to all regions of the U.S., Major League Baseball teams and the local governments that oversee them will be pressed with an important question: Should fans be allowed to attend games?
Nationals starter Max Scherzer spoke on a Zoom call Friday and made it clear which side of the debate he stands on.
“Fans should be in the stands, 100 percent,” Scherzer said. “You can do it, we’re in outdoor stadiums. Fans just need to be allowed to come in the ballpark. We can engineer a way around it. I don’t see any reason why not. So hopefully cooler heads prevail, we look at this pragmatically and we get some Nationals fans out there because trust me, as all ballplayers, we definitely miss them and we miss the atmosphere that they bring.”
Back in December, Scherzer spoke with NBC Sports Washington about how fan attendance might work. He acknowledged how many NFL teams were able to open up their stadiums in a limited capacity during its 2020 season. Given the open-air nature of most baseball stadiums — even closed-roof ballparks are much larger than indoor arenas — Scherzer feels that there are ways teams can enforce protocols that limit the potential for the virus to spread.
The Nationals have yet to announce a plan for fan attendance in 2021. Single-game tickets for the regular season have not yet been made available for purchase, though fans can buy season ticket plans for as many as all 81 home games. Any decision the Nationals make on opening their ballpark to fans will have to be made in conjunction with local D.C. officials.