Whenever the Dodgers and MLB can get back to action, it’s almost certain the game we know will be changed. Opening Day in June or July, maybe no All-Star Game, and likely no fans to start the season. That last bit is one of the pieces being discussed by the league, among hundreds of other scenarios at this point.
The players and league agreed the 2020 MLB season won't begin until:
– There are no bans on mass gatherings that limit the ability to play in front of fans*
– There are no travel restrictions
– Medical experts determine games will not pose a risk to health of teams and fans
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 27, 2020
This, of course, all depends entirely on how the next couple of weeks play out with COVID-19 in the United States. Things have the potential to change for the worse or the better as they have for the last couple of weeks. But as it stands, the players and league have guidelines on when games can start to be played. From what it sounds like, Dodgers fans should be able to go to the stadium whenever games do start.
The first of the guidelines is that there cannot be any bans that limit the team’s ability to play in front of fans. That piece is important because there are plenty of cities in the country where there is a ban on ten or more people right now, including Los Angeles. Mayor Eric Garcetti said that he anticipated the ban to last at least two months, which would put towards the end of May.
The other part of that is the consideration of moving games to sights where bans have been lifted. If it takes a little bit longer for the mass gathering ban to be lifted in Los Angeles, we could see the Dodgers starting their season playing in Florida or a warmer weather state where bans could be lifted much faster. Jeff Passan of ESPN elaborated on the deal.
The caveat agreed to by the players and league is that they will consider playing games at neutral sites instead of home ballparks — and will consider the feasibility of playing in empty stadiums and just how proper a solution it may be for both sides and especially fans.
While this information is encouraging, it does make us realize that baseball is still pretty far off. The COVID-19 virus is still not nearly under control in North America, and that is the first step towards getting the sport back. The estimation of late June for an estimated start date still seems to be our best bet at this point.