Opening Day, originally scheduled to begin on March 26, was delayed for two weeks until being delayed until further notice on March 16 due to the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) recommendations of halting any gatherings consisting of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks.
MLB will continue to evaluate ongoing events leading up to the start of the season. Guidance related to daily operations and workouts will be relayed to Clubs in the coming days. As of 4 p.m. ET today, forthcoming Spring Training games have been cancelled, and 2020 World Baseball Classic Qualifier games in Tucson, Ariz., have been postponed indefinitely.
MLB and the clubs have been preparing a variety of contingency plans regarding the 2020 regular season schedule. MLB will announce the effects on the schedule at an appropriate time and will remain flexible as events warrant, with the hope of resuming normal operations as soon as possible.
Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our players, employees and fans. MLB will continue to undertake the precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts. We send our best wishes to all individuals and communities that have been impacted by coronavirus."
Baseball officials are considering moving all 30 MLB teams to Arizona, where they’ve proposed playing the 2020 season in empty stadiums.
The idea was reportedly the topic of discussion during a Monday conference call involving Major League Baseball executives and representatives from the player’s association, according to the Associated Press. Sources tell the news agency officials are considering Arizona over Florida because the Grand Canyon State’s 10 spring training ballparks and the Diamondback’s Chase Field are located within 25 miles of each other.
By contrast, Florida’s spring training facilities are sprawled out over a 220-mile area.
“It allows for the immediacy of a schedule, where you might be able to begin it and televise it,” says baseball agent Scott Boras. “I think players are willing to do what’s necessary because I think they understand the importance of baseball for their own livelihoods and for the interest of our country.”
MLB officials say they’re shooting for a mid-May opening day. Why can’t these teams play games in their own empty stadiums? Given how hot Arizona gets in the summer, do you think it could end up being a sanctuary for those who want to avoid the coronavirus?