Report: MLB Could Start as Early as May in Empty Stadiums in Arizona

Matt Loede

While there are plenty of things that would have to be worked out and go a certain way, a report has surfaced that Major League Baseball could start the season as early as May and with all teams playing in Arizona.

Jeff Passan of ESPN reported late Monday/early Tuesday that Major League Baseball and the Players Association will need to vote on issues and topics that will need to keep the players and others that would be in the stadium while games are being played safe.

The games in Arizona would be played in front of empty stadiums, which would further push the risk of those getting sick down at least somewhat.

Passan writes that the plan would be for all 30 teams to play at stadiums in the Phoenix area, with one stadium in use being that of the Arizona Diamondbacks home field, Chase Stadium.

There are other spring training facilities that could accommodate games, as with 30 teams you would need at least 10-15 stadiums for teams to play in.

A statement was issued by Major League Baseball on Tuesday about the situation, "We have not settled on that option or developed a detailed plan."

"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," the MLB statement said. "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."

While Passan reported that the players and owners would like to get games started by May, it sounds like having a few weeks of practice/spring training and then starting up again in early June might be a better overall plan.

Saturday officials from Major League Baseball and top federal health officials discussed the plan to try and start playing again, and what it would take for the league to get the season underway.

Calls between the two sides continued on Monday, with the biggest roadblock being the coronavirus and the length it will affect the United States.

At the end of the day, it sounds like baseball is the closest of the three major US sports leagues to get started, and that the league could be up and running again in a month’s time