As this week continues to present seismic shifts in how professional sports are played, MLB has gotten closer to considering closing the doors on ballparks to fans as the COVID-19 Coronavirus hit pandemic status.
Moreover, the Dodgers are weighing options on how to move forward for the rest of spring, as well as the potential start of the season. On the idea of playing in front of no crowd, manager Dave Roberts shared a thought.
#Dodgers Dave Roberts on potential of playing in empty stadiums: "I haven't done that since, like, A-ball. But it would be very eerie, I think. But obviously it's for the greater good and for the health of everyone. But, yeah, that's on the table, I think."
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) March 11, 2020
If we’re talking A-ball, that’s looking at 1995-1996 for Roberts, which is certainly a long time ago.
However, this idea is on the table for 2020. Importantly, the Dodgers are not a franchise that plays to an empty house often. Or even ever. On top of drawing three million-plus fans at home every season, LA fans travel well — whether on their own or through the help of a glorified travel agency.
Elsewhere in the MLB, the Seattle Mariners have been forced out of their home ballpark for the first two series of the season thanks to concerns with the pandemic. If the Dodgers should happen to follow suit, whether on their own accord or by mandate from the commissioner, it would certainly be an eerie sight at Dodger Stadium.
And I’m not talking about potentially left over cranes and active construction.
The last time an MLB game was played to an empty stadium was on April 28, 2015, when the Baltimore Orioles played the Chicago White Sox at Camden Yards in Maryland.
For what it’s worth, the home Orioles won 8-2.
Thursday is lining up to be a big moving day in regards to what decision the Dodgers and baseball will take going forward.