Several Major League Baseball teams are apparently planning to at least try to play in front of fans in 2020.
Whether fans are present in stadiums or not is ultimately being left to teams and local authorities. With that in mind, it was reported on Wednesday that several teams are at least looking into the possibility of hosting some fans.
Danny Parkins of 670 The Score reported that the White Sox are planning to play games at Guaranteed Rate Field with a limited number of fans.
Mini-scoop: I'm told the White Sox are planning to play with a limited number of fans in the stands this year. I haven't gotten a confirmation on the Cubs. Exact capacity isn't known and obviously subject to change but thought is around 20%.
— Danny Parkins (@DannyParkins) June 24, 2020
Miami Mayor Carlos Gimenez told Andy Slater of Fox Sports 640 South Florida that he would be willing to consider a plan to let the Miami Marlins play in front of fans as well.
NEW: Miami-Dade @MayorGimenez will consider allowing fans at Marlins Park starting next month, he tells me.
Marlins must first submit a plan to the county showing how fans can socially distance.
— Andy Slater (@AndySlater) June 24, 2020
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also told KTVV/Channel 11 that the state was eager to work with both the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers to allow fans to attend games.
“We look forward to working with the teams and to find out there strategies to make sure they will be able to open up their stadiums safely,” Abbott said, via Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “Know this: If those teams can not make the case to the public that their stadiums will be safe, the public will not show up. So, I feel confident we will find safe ways to open up the stadiums and have fans in the stands to watch Major League Baseball.”
Astros owner Jim Crane made clear that he planned to look for ways to allow fans to attend games.
Jim Crane: "The intent at some point is to get fans in the ballpark."
— Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) June 24, 2020
A lot of clarity will come on this in the weeks to come. Teams will have to determine how full stadiums can be, if at all. That said, owners will do everything they can to get fans in the stadium, as the revenue losses if games are played in empty ballparks would be significant.
Whether there are fans or not, we’re going to be watching a very different game for the 2020 season.