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#pounditThursday, February 25, 2021

Could MLB switch to neutral site World Series for the future?

Rob Manfred

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred liked hosting the World Series at a neutral site so much that he’s willing to consider it for the future.

Manfred said that there are many reasons a neutral site World Series could be beneficial for the teams involved. He did admit, however, that depriving home fans of seeing their teams in the World Series was a significant drawback.

“You should always think about innovation,” Manfred told Eric Prisbell of Sports Business Daily. “I wouldn’t say a neutral-site World Series is completely off the table. There were things that we saw in Texas that were advantages for us. You can plan. You can take out travel. You can pick sites that eliminate weather problems. Those are all things worthy of conversation and discussion. I think the big (weight) on the scale in favor of our traditional format, the thing that really matters at the end of the day, are fans in home markets.”

Manfred is right about the possible benefits. In theory, weather would never be a concern, and teams could cut down on travel. However, many fans of the teams involved wouldn’t be able to simply travel to a neutral site to see their team play. That’s especially true if one of the teams doesn’t play particularly close to the neutral site.

On one hand, the players didn’t seem to mind playing at neutral sites. Plus the games were by and large quite good. There’s no substitute for a packed home crowd in a playoff game, though.

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