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Dodgers: MLB Looking at Games in Empty Spring Training Parks

The league is considering having games at empty spring training facilities.



At this point in what would have been the regular season, the league has to consider every option to get games going. That’s what Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts said earlier this week, and it rings true with the latest news.

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that MLB is looking into using Spring Training facilities to get games started. That option comes with its own headaches though, as keeping 30 teams completely isolated from the world could prove difficult. 

The season, at least initially, could be played in Florida or more likely Arizona, where spring training parks are more concentrated. But the logistics of quarantining 30 teams in one area would be extremely complex and potentially controversial, sources say, requiring local, state and federal government cooperation and resources that might be necessary to fight the coronavirus pandemic. -Ken Rosenthal

The idea would be to play in warmer weather stadiums, where the COVID-19 virus would hopefully be less prevalent. That would put the Dodgers back at their home facility Camelback Ranch, located in Glendale, Arizona. 

The issue is that having games played still makes it very difficult to keep the risk of infection low. There are at least 26 players per team, there are umpires, and there are all of the staff it would take to broadcast a game. The only real risk mitigated in this scenario is the fan-to-fan interaction, which may or may not be enough to convince state officials to allow games. 

Playing games in an empty stadium is still better than no games at all, but Major League Baseball would lose a considerable amount of money without fans. Ticket sales generated over $10 billion in revenue for baseball last season, with the Dodgers being one of the highest-grossing teams. Television deals would essentially be the only source of income for teams if this scenario were to go through.

As of now, there are no official plans in place for baseball to get started. Several sources have July first circled on their calendars as the date MLB is shooting for, but a lot would have to happen between now and then. 

NEXT: Yasiel Puig Helps Fans Stay In Shape During Quarantine

Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. lol imagine the first World Series title in 32 years being in a spring training facility in front of no one. That would be Dodger luck right there. Just cancel the season

  2. I’d let ’em play in AZ parks, like an extended spring training. But call ’em exhibition games. They would NOT be the same as regular MLB games without the fans.

  3. It would suit me fine if the season started with empty stadiums whenever our medical and government officials deem it as safe, and with caution, following their guidelines and restraints regarding the Coronavirus. I don’t have the resources anyway to actually attend the games at Dodger Stadium, but for the last 60 or so years I have truly enjoyed the voice(s) of Dodgers coming from the radio. And now with the opportunity to watch them on TV during home games, well I would be happy and grateful for even a glimpse of our β€œboys in blue”. Go get that World Series Championship, and bring home the Prize…go Dodgers.

    • i wonder if the SNLA availability change has everything to do with preparing to play to empty stadiums in AZ/FLA? It could be a way to generate ad revenue due to more viewers thanks to the wider ability to watch the team? Fun to ponder the wheels-within-wheels possibilities.

      Either way, no games until an effective vaccine is out. Then empty stadium games in AZ/FLA make sense, even if that means next year. No fan attended games until a year AFTER vaccines prove effective across the board. I don’t want people dying over a sporting event, a concert or similar.

      • That’s right Grumpy.
        Play what they can w/o fans, if possible. Exhibition games. Anything. I am sure the players are restless and we definitely need a distraction. The season will not happen as hoped for, but maybe we can get something out of this. Even playing fewer players, playing five inning games.

        • Mike… exactly… baby steps. I am thinking it can’t be a magic switch the country turns on an all is better & safe. This is the fate of a nation and planet sort of situation we have. We’re seemingly making reasoned progress with what’s happening so far.

          You described it well, start simple with risk. And i agree most or many players have to be going stir crazy right now. Still I’m also willing to bet not all players will take that risk. We can’t fault them. But how great for the country if it was possible to show so sort of ray of hope. We ate doing it but have to resist that impulse to just go all in.

          I wanna see Mookie hitting a gapper and stretching to a triple but don’t wanna see him start coughing heading to 3rd dropping dead halfway there, i mean i wanna at least see him be called safe! then, meh, that’s baseball . πŸ˜‰

  4. How about a media playoff system. See who can spread the most lies and fake stories takes the prize. My money is on CNN, with ABC and CBS in the running.

      • I don’t watch any news it’s all politically driven. I include Fox in that too, they don’t even try to be believable over there bunch of bafoons like the rest of the networks

        • The news is to draw viewership, and that goes for ALL networks. It spreads fear. It is made dramatic for viewership. It does nothing but spread rumor, fear and panic.
          That’s why we need baseball…any baseball!!!

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