98.5 The Sports Hub staff report
The show will go on with a 2020 MLB season.
It will be a season unlike any other, too. In addition to a 60-game slate with a universal DH and expanded rosters, the MLB will play their games in empty ballparks. That was to be expected given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, of course, but it’s something Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy isn’t looking at as a permanent fixture of the 2020 campaign.
“We are hopeful to have fans [at Fenway Park] at some point,” Kennedy told reporters. “We need fans at Fenway Park.
“Our fans give us a competitive advantage. I can tell you there are clubs around Major League Baseball that are anticipating having fans in their ballparks. It’s an incredibly important part of our business and an incredibly important part of our baseball operation, so we would like to get to that point.”
Wanting to get there and actually getting there are two very different things, however, and Kennedy admitted that there’s currently no timeline to allow fans back into Fenway, and instead acknowledged that the team is currently “working through the protocols that would be required to pursue” fan attendance.
The good news for the Red Sox is that Massachusetts has been one of the best states when it comes to following the CDC-recommended guidelines regarding COVID-19, and has the lowest transmission rate of any state in the country. If Massachusetts continues this trend, and continues to take the proper safety measures when out and about, reopening shouldn’t be the nightmare its been for some of the other states in the country.
And the Red Sox are not the only team hoping to put fans in the stands this season.
Speaking with the media earlier this week, Astros owner Jim Crane said that “the only way” to counter the team’s revenue losses from cancelled games was to let people in the building. Crane admitted that that was his team’s plan, too, essentially saying that it was in their intention to let people in once player safety protocols had been established.
It was reported in May that the Red Sox would lose $200 million without fans in the stands this season.
The MLB is scheduled to begin their training camp on July 1, and begin their 60-game 2020 season on July 23 or July 24.