COVID-19, better known as the coronavirus, is finally affecting baseball (and other sports) in a major way.
Due to the virus, Washington governor Jay Inslee has called for a ban on public gatherings of more than 250 people in virtually the entire Seattle metro area.
This could have major effects in all sports, including baseball. The Seattle Mariners will likely be faced with 3 options:
- Move the games to Peoria, Arizona, at their spring facility.
- Play the games at T-Mobile Park in Seattle anyway, but in front of pretty much no audience.
- Postpone the games altogether
I’d go with the first one, best-case scenario for everyone. Anyway, the ban will basically make Seattle a ghost town. Ed. Note: That first option also appears to be the current choice, as we got a little more clarity before this post published.
Also, more Seattle teams than just the Mariners will be affected. The Seattle Dragons of the XFL have upcoming games against the Los Angeles Wildcats and the New York Guardians in Seattle on the next two Sundays. The Seattle Sounders of the MLS will play at home on March 21st. Also, if the ban spreads to other parts of the state, even the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, better known as March Madness, could be affected. First-round and Second-round games are scheduled to take place in Spokane, Washington on March 19 and 21st. Also, the Twins come to Seattle for a 3-game series from 3/30 to 4/1.
No matter how the Mariners and the rest of Seattle sports handle this, it will have a huge effect on sports over the next few months.