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Dodgers: Dave Roberts Talks Playing in Potentially Empty Stadiums



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.

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.

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

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  1. How many days of empty stadiums equates to teams going bankrupt? Has anyone thought this through? In this scenario would players return their multi-million dollar salaries? Anyone think that the not so philanthropic players union would go for that. Sports is an entertainment industry. It is supposed to entertain fans who then pay all the bills. When bills don’t t get paid, businesses fold. This is just a reality check. Anyone have any real ideas?

  2. For the morale of everyone, games need to be played, even to empty stadiums. If it gets bad, then the season is over. If it stabilizes, then it’s temporary. I’m hoping all sport teams show all their games on free TV, for the sake of normalcy and some sanity.

  3. If games are to be played in empty stadiums, then I believe MLBTV.com should offer free broadcasts of all games until the situation is resolved. It certainly would be a p.r. bonanza for MLB.

  4. With many of Robert’s coaching decisions open to second guessing, I was wondering if he might welcome the idea of having zero attendance at Chavez; that way, his boo-boos would not gain so much criticism. Go Blue!!!!

  5. That trade for Mookie is looking more and more like a disaster. If the season gets cancelled, the Red Sox really win that trade although I’m happy we have Price, but I bet we could have landed only Price without giving up Verdugo. I’d like to see Cody Thomas go head to head with Joc and Matt to see who prevails. Thomas looks like our left fielder of the future.

  6. How about let in any fan who has the virus only. That way 5,000 people will be there and Guggenheim can sell toilet paper for 14 $ a wipe rather than a Dodger dog..

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