Right now, Seattle and the San Francisco Bay area are two of the most highly impacted areas by the Covid-19 (aka coronavirus) outbreak, and their state/local governments are both imposing restrictions that will impact major league baseball.
The Twins are scheduled to play in Oakland for opening day. As we stand right now, San Francisco, but not Oakland has issued a ban on gatherings of 1000-plus people. In theory, therefore, games could go on at the Colosseum if nothing changes. That being said, it appears the A’s are being proactive in looking at alternative arrangements.
The most likely of these arrangements would be similar to what the Mariners have likely chosen—an extended stay in their spring training home.
That particular announcement will also affect the Twins, as their second series of the year was supposed to be in Seattle, where the state government has issued a moratorium on gatherings of over 250 people.
Hear that the #Mariners are not going to play their first 2 series at home by governor decree. MLB. Working on scenarios to relocate— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) March 11, 2020
As this decree extends at least two weeks from today, that means the first couple series played in Seattle are being relocated—and the Twins are that second series. The expectation, although not 100% confirmed, is that the games will be played at the Mariners’ spring training complex in Peoria, AZ.
Expecting MLB/Mariners announcement on relocation. If season opening series later this afternoon. Expectation is games moved to Peoria, Ariz. https://t.co/t3zDNppgGK— Evan Grant (@Evan_P_Grant) March 11, 2020
Personally, I think without a travel ban accompanying it, this move is slightly misguided, as even a couple-hundred die hard fans buying plane tickets to AZ seems worse than the alternative in spreading the virus past local areas. I digress though.
MLBPA President Tony Clark’s statement suggests that the players union is choosing to work with the league and teams in efforts to comply with local health decrees and will not be putting up a roadblock to relocating games.
MLBPA head Tony Clark issues a statement: pic.twitter.com/VCGtu0yMjk— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) March 11, 2020
The Twins are scheduled to play their home opener on April second, after the seven-game road swing. While the team has not yet announced what, if any, measures are being considered, there is also a chance the first home stand could be impacted. Minnesota is up to five confirmed cases, and a rapidly escalating outbreak in the next couple weeks could lead to the team playing their first “home games” in Fort Myers or in front of an empty stadium. As this is a rapidly changing situation, we will provide updates whenever possible.
Update: 3/11 4:45 central: Alameda county has joined San Francisco, so it looks like the Twins opening day game will be impacted for sure, just a matter of how at this point.
Alameda County has joined San Francisco in recommending events with 1K-plus attendees be cancelled or postponed.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) March 11, 2020
This obviously would put March 26 Opening Day game vs. Twins in doubt.