Top Menu

Gov: MLB could begin season in Arizona–when time is right

Chase Field

Confirming communications with MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey says the 2020 MLB season could begin in the Phoenix area, with all 30 teams setting shop at spring-training and college facilities sans fans–provided safety for all personnel can be assured.

That there are a lot of folks itchy to begin the 2020 MLB season is no secret, and we’ve seen plenty of ideas raised about how to bring the sport back in the face of the coronavirus pandemic–Arizona, Arizona and Florida, Japan plans abound, among others–though there’s no clear path to a resumption of the sport. Generally, a plan for the return of play involves a quarantine of players and an abundance of testing, along with plenty of PPE. Quarantining players, and potentially their families, wouldn’t be that hard given the abundance of open hotel rooms in the Valley of the Sun, but there are issues with optics on the testing and PPE ends: with shortages experience both with tests and PPE across the country, diverting any precious resource so the MLB season can start will open the sport to plenty of criticism.

Still, once we have enough tests and PPE in the pipelines, we could see a return of baseball. From USA Today:

“I have had discussions with the commissioner of Major League Baseball,” Ducey said, referring to Rob Manfred. “While I want to hold the content of those discussions in confidence, I just want everyone to know that Arizona, at the right time, is very open-minded to hosting whatever Major League Baseball would like from the state, at the time that it would be appropriate for public health if Arizona were in a position to reopen.

“We have the facilities that are here. We have the hotel space that is here. We want to make sure that the metrics and data are proper before we are able to go forward.”

The Arizona Diamondbacks, who likely would play a significant role in laying the groundwork for the idea to take shape, declined to comment through a club spokesman….

“We’re going to know a lot more about where we are and where the nation is each day as April unfolds,” said Ducey, who on March 30 issued a statewide “stay at home” order that runs through the end of April. “But it would be something that I think – it’s something that Arizona is open-minded to and that I’m open-minded to.”

It should be noted that in the past that the D-Backs’ Ken Kendrick did express interest in playing a role in the resumption of the sport.

In a Snapchat interview, Dr. Anthony Fauci endorsed the concept of the launch of the 2020 MLB season under the right circumstances. As Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and member of President Trump’s White House Coronavirus Task Force, Fauci has become the leading national authority on the coronavirus pandemic. His view on the resumption of play, per the interview shown below:

“There’s a way of doing that. Nobody comes to the stadium. Put [players] in big hotels, wherever you want to play, keep them very well surveilled….Have them tested every single week and make sure they don’t wind up infecting each other or their family, and just let them play the season out.”

With daily news about the spread of the coronavirus impacting the sports-business and facilities industries, it’s more important than ever to stay up with the latest news in the venues industry. That’s why we launched a Venues Digest newsletter focusing on coronavirus information across the ballparks, arenas, stadiums, theater and performing-arts worlds. For now it will appear daily, and for now it will be free of charge to industry professionals. Sign up here.

RELATED STORIES: Arizona, Florida, Japan? 2020 MLB season scenarios aboundFans prioritize safety when considering return to baseball: study; MLB 2020 season blueprint evolves, with Florida now in mix; Trump: Pro sports could resume in August, September; With season delay, MLB teams feeling the pinch; When baseball returns, will fans return as well?; MiLB teams expand offerings, launch charitable efforts; MLB to pay MiLB player wages through MayNats/Astros spring camp closed, will be used for drive-up coronavirus testing; Layoffs, furloughs come for Memphis Redbirds; Fanatics shifts jersey production to personal protective equipmentMLB, MLBPA reach agreement on 2020 season detailsHappy Opening Day–at homeCould we see a second spring training this year?Doubleheaders May Be on the Docket at Start of MLB SeasonMLB to Pay MiLB Players Spring Training Per Diems; MLB, MLBPA Negotiating Service Time, DraftTruist Grant Extends Relief to MLB, MiLB Game-Day WorkersMiLB Teams Lose Non-Gameday Events Amidst Pandemic; Ballpark Parking Lots Could Help During Coronavirus Pandemic; MLB Teams Donate $30M Toward Game-Day Employees; Sandy Alderson: MLB Needs to Enter Total ShutdownIt’s Official: Don’t Look for MLB Until Memorial DayMLB Teams Order Non-Roster Players Home, Shut Down WorkoutsMore MLB Teams Announce Plans to Aid Game-Day EmployeesTelecommuting in Baseball’s Front Offices the New RealityMLB, MiLB Season Openers Could Be Delayed to MaySurprise! Spring Training’s Canceled. What’s Next?MLB Season Delayed For Two Weeks, MiLB Season Indefinitely

, , , ,