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#pounditTuesday, March 2, 2021

MLB hopes to have fans for playoffs, World Series

Rob Manfred

MLB is hoping to have fans in attendance for some postseason games this year.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred spoke in an online event for Hofstra’s business school on Monday and shared his desires. He said they are hoping to have fans for the League Championship Series games and World Series.

“I’m hopeful that the World Series and the LCS we will have limited fan capacity,” Manfred said, via The Athletic’s Evan Drellich. “I think it’s important for us to start back down the road. Obviously it’ll be limited numbers, socially distanced, protection provided for the fans in terms of temperature checks and the like. Kind of the pods like you saw in some of the NFL games.”

Manfred reminded those watching that MLB generates around 40 percent of its revenues from having fans present at games. Ticket sales, parking, concessions and merchandise make up a huge portion of team revenues. Playing without fans is costly for the league. That hurts owners and players, as there is less money available to pay players due to declining revenue. That is why they want to start getting fans back.

The NFL had fans at some games in Week 1, as did college football. For now, the ability to have fans largely depends on the permissions from local cities.

MLB is planning to host its postseason in two different cities for the Division Series and beyond. The Los Angeles area will host the American League and Texas will have the National League. Here is what the MLB playoff format will look like for 2020.


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