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Giants, Athletics, Mariners Shifting Games Due To Coronavirus Concerns

San Francisco Giants 2019The San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics will shift at least one exhibition game in response to the coronavirus crisis, as the Seattle Mariners discuss a move of two series against Texas and Minnesota.

Today the City and County of San Francisco announced a two-week prohibition on large gatherings, a move that caused the Golden State Warriors (NBA) to ban fans from tomorrow night’s game at Chase Center and cancel concerts through March 21. The response from the Giants is cancel the annual March 24 exhibition game against the Oakland Athletics, per this statement from the team:

The health and safety of our community is of the utmost importance to us. We have been in close coordination with Major League Baseball and our local health and government agencies to monitor and plan for any potential impacts of COVID-19. In light of the City and County San Francisco’s announcement today to prohibit public gatherings of 1,000 people for the next two weeks, we will not play our upcoming March 24th exhibition game against the Oakland A’s at Oracle Park in San Francisco. We have no other large public gatherings scheduled at Oracle Park during this time period. We are in the process of working with Major League Baseball and the A’s to finalize alternative arrangements. We will make that information available as soon as possible.

The Giants open the season at Dodger Stadium, with the first regular-season game set for April 3.

The Giants are scheduled to play March 23 at the Oakland Coliseum, and while that game’s not yet been cancelled, the Alameda County Public Health Department is recommending against gatherings, but it doesn’t have the force of an order—yet. The Athletics issued the following statement:

Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our community. We will adhere to any government directives, and work with Major League Baseball on all alternative arrangements to ensure the health of our fans and our community remains a top priority.

Meanwhile, with Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announcing a ban on gatherings of more than 250 people in the Seattle area amidst the coronavirus crisis, the Seattle Mariners are looking at simply playing the two series-opening series at Peoria Stadium, the team’s spring-training home, or shifting a season-opening series from T-Mobile Ballpark to the new Texas Rangers ballpark, Globe Life Field–a move confirmed by the Rangers today:

With today’s announcement by Washington Governor Jay Inslee that will necessitate the relocation of the Seattle Mariners opening series with the Rangers from March 26-29, we will be working with Major League Baseball and the Mariners on alternate plans for the scheduling of these games.

As well as the Mariners:

Following Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s announcement this morning that he is banning large group events through March, the Seattle Mariners are working with the Major League Baseball Office of the Commissioner on alternative plans for our games that were scheduled for the end of March at T-Mobile Park in Seattle.

While we hope to be back to playing baseball in Seattle as soon as possible, the health and safety of our community is the most important consideration.

We will provide more information about our plans for the games as it becomes available.

The Washington State ban will also affect a second Mariners homestead, when the M’s are scheduled to host the Minnesota Twins on March 30-April 1. There are multiple options under debate, including a move of the series to Minnesota, a move of the series to a neutral MLB site, or the move of the series to Arizona and the Mariners’ spring complex in Peoria. It is unlikely the game would be played before an empty T-Mobile Park.

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