Two days after it was reported Major League Baseball had begun exploring the idea of beginning the 2020 season at respective Spring Training facilities in Arizona and Florida, more details surfaced on how The Grand Canyon State would serve as the backdrop.
MLB reportedly would quarantine players, coaches and all personnel involved in starting the season, and not only use Spring Training complexes but Chase Field as well. The plan is said to have early support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Institute of Health.
Although indications are the idea of having all 30 teams descend on Arizona is believed to be one MLB is making progress toward becoming a reality, the league raised caution Tuesday morning.
“MLB has been actively considering numerous contingency plans that would allow play to commence once the public health situation has improved to the point that it is safe to do so,” a released statement explained.
“While we have discussed the idea of staging games at one location as one potential option, we have not settled on that option or developed a detailed plan. While we continue to interact regularly with governmental and public health officials, we have not sought or received approval of any plan from federal, state and local officials, or the Players Association.
“The health and safety of our employees, players, fans and the public at large are paramount, and we are not ready at this time to endorse any particular format for staging games in light of the rapidly changing public health situation caused by the coronavirus.”
Under the plan MLB reportedly is considering for Arizona, the 2020 regular season would potentially begin as soon as May. On top of logistical hurdles that come with staging the entire league in the Phoenix area, there is the factor of safety.
The CDC has previously recommended all gatherings of 50 or more people not be held at least until after May 10. That suggestion prompted MLB to push back Opening Day for a second time, and the season remains indefinitely suspended.
Nevertheless, devising a scenario where all teams are centralized may be the league’s best bet to beginning the season. The NBA reportedly is considering doing so in Las Vegas, whether to resume its campaign or begin the playoffs.
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