MLB, which postponed the start of its season due to the coronavirus pandemic, is aiming to return to play as soon as May. According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association is working on a plan that would allow all 30 teams to begin play in a matter of weeks.
All games would be held at facilities across the greater Phoenix area with players, personnel, and coaches living in isolation during the stint in the desert.
Among the venues would be Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, 10 spring training facilities and “perhaps other nearby fields.” All games during that time would be played without fans in an effort to avoid the spread of the novel coronavirus.
From the report:
Players, coaching staffs and other essential personnel would be sequestered at local hotels, where they would live in relative isolation and travel only to and from the stadium, sources said. Federal officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the National Institutes of Health have been supportive of a plan that would adhere to strict isolation, promote social distancing and allow MLB to become the first professional sport to return.
If things go according to plan, Opening Day could be held in June.
The coronavirus outbreak has led to the cancellation or postponing of many large events including The Masters, NCAA Tournament, Coachella, SXSW, the Winter X Games, Stagecoach, Ultra Music Festival in Miami, and more. The NBA, NHL, and MLS have temporarily suspended their seasons.
The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).
The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.
While a majority of the cases have been detected in the United States and China — with more than 9,600 deaths in the United States which surpasses and nearly triples the death toll of the September 11 terrorist in New York City — it has now reached many countries around the world. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.