Los Angeles Dodgers Starting Thrower Clayton Kershaw (22) took the mound during the MLB opening day match between the San Diego Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
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Add one more idea to Major League Baseball’s plan to continue operations after the coronavirus pandemic forced the suspension of sports around the world.
According to some reports, MLB has discussed the possibility of playing all games in Arizona, with teams placed in a restricted environment. The club will play games at the spring training stadium around the Phoenix area. Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, is also an option.
The Associated Press said league officials discussing the plan with the MLB Players Association on Monday, a few days after President Donald Trump speak with the U.S. sports commissioner to examine the economic impact of viruses on the league.
Trump met with reporters after the call, saying he wanted to see fans return to the arena as soon as possible.
“And the fans want to come back too,” the president said. “They want to see basketball and baseball, soccer and hockey; they want to see their sport.”
According to ESPN, the ideas discussed around the MLB season were reformatted including an inning game of seven with electronic strike zones, no mound visits and players sitting in stands six feet apart to respect social distance guidelines.
MLB plans to continue following the compensation agreement reached with the players’ union, which asks for $ 170 million to be distributed. The players also agreed to pay a salary before the regular competition season 162 matches were cut due to coronavirus suspension.
“MLB has actively considered various contingency plans that will allow the start of play once the public health situation has improved to a safe point to do so,” MLB said in a statement.
“Although we have discussed the idea of staging in one location as a potential option, we have not determined that option or developed a detailed plan. While we continue to interact regularly with government and government health officials, we have not sought or received any plan approval from officials federal, state and local, or Players Association The health and safety of our employees, players, fans and society in general is paramount, and we are currently not ready to support a particular format for holding matches given the rapidly changing public health situation caused by coronavirus. “
Neal Pilson is the founder of consulting firm Pilson Communications and spent 13 years running CBS Sports. In an interview with CNBC, Pilson said he was “skeptical” about the league continuing the game this summer, adding that there was no way the commissioners would know enough about the spread of the corona virus.
Pilson said the league must gather enough information to plan properly to proceed, adding that it could take two months to prepare. “Will we know enough on May 1 or June 1, to schedule live sports on July 1 or August 1? I can appreciate that’s the kind of thinking we have to do, but what concerns me is basically we don’t know enough. I doubt we will know enough in the next 30 to 60 days to project sports directly. “
And if the league does indeed overcome logistical resume, Pilson wonders what league message will send players.
“You mean, you just go and risk getting sick, provided we have TV money,” Pilson said. “It’s hard to imagine the players themselves wanting to collect and complete the playoffs even in a protected situation where you might only have a TV camera and a production crew and no fans.”
MLB has a media rights agreement with ESPNFox and Turner Sports total about $ 12 billion. The league contract with ESPN and Turner will end after the 2021 season. Foxes renewed its agreement with MLB in 2018 and has been secured until 2028.
On Monday, National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver said his league was still weeks away from determining his future, which could include postseason tournament in Las Vegas.
“You have all this smart thinking, but what you have to take into account is risk factors,” Pilson said. “Athletes themselves may not want to be in the dressing room with 12 to 25 members of their team, and you can understand why, especially because athletes get COVID-19 like everyone else.”
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