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Owners to present MLB 2020 season plan to players: Will they bite?

Major League BaseballOwners approved a plan to launch the MLB 2020 season on the July 4 holiday weekend with teams playing games at home ballparks under heavily supervised circumstances, with the plan expected to be presented to the players union today.

It’s no surprise the players agreed to the proposal; the result of the vote yesterday was a given, according to MLB sources. What will be presented is basically what we reported yesterday regarding an 80-game season, limited travel and games limited to divisional play, expanded playoffs and a begin to play sans fans. For the owners, it’s a matter of money. Though there won’t be gate and concessions revenue with the loss of fans in the stands, broadcast revenue would be coming in the door and, with expanded playoffs, an additional spiff.

The interesting thing will be to see how players react. Some are itching to play, and some are nervous about any gathering in the era of the coronavirus pandemic. The owners also want salary reductions due to the lack of gate revenue and are presenting a 50-50 split on the revenue front, but the players union and influential agents like Scott Boras say an agreement reached in March already covers any potential pay cuts, with the union not wanting to see any further reductions. Sean Doolittle tweeted out this long message to address his logical concerns about a MLB 2020 season plan:

The proposal still needs many details added. Also needing to be addressed: testing protocols and frequency, with the players association wanting to see as many tests administered as possible and some sort of procedure to address what happens should a player or staffer test positive for the COVID-19 virus.

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.

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