Stan Kasten: Dodgers Fans Being Allowed To Attend Games At Dodger Stadium ‘Not On The Table Anytime Soon’
Dodger Stadium view, Dodgers fan, Clayton Kershaw, 2020 Opening Day
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports

Despite Major League Baseball team owners using the prospect of staging games without fans in attendance as reason they could not agree to full prorated salaries for players, they retained the possibility to draw a gate as part of commissioner Rob Manfred imposing a season.

MLB is going to defer to local governments, and in the case of Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott recently said teams could allow up to 50% capacity. Abbott reiterated that stance even as the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and hospitalizations rise in his state.

Arizona and California are enduring similar spikes over recent weeks. Particularly in Los Angeles County, where of course Dodger Stadium is located.

With the start of Spring Training 2.0 this week and the regular season looming, Los Angeles Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten suggested fans attending games at Dodger Stadium — even in a reduced capacity — isn’t anywhere close to becoming a reality, via Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times:

“It is not on the table anytime soon,” Kasten said Friday. “Obviously, when it is safe for fans to show up, we’d love for that to happen, even if it’s a small number to begin. But I think we’re going away from even thinking about that.”

“I’ve spoken to L.A. County officials, I’ve spoken to city officials, we all want that to happen but I don’t see it happening anytime soon,” Kasten said. “But, sure, when it happens that would be ideal. We are in business to have fans in the ballpark. That would be great. I just don’t know when that’s going to be.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has maintained his stance that sporting and other events within the state were unlikely to have fans this year, unless a vaccine is in place. He only went so far as to previously forecast the beginning of June for when games in empty stadiums could resume.

The Dodgers set a franchise record last season with 3,974,309 (49,066 average) in attendance for 81 home games, which included 28 sellouts. It broke the record set during the 2018 season, when Game 163 brought attendance to 3,857,500.

Last year’s mark narrowly eclipsed the previous franchise record — 3,857,036 during the 2007 season.

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