The 2020 MLB season has not featured a single fan with the exception of a few VIPs on Opening Day. The average fan has not had the opportunity to attend due to COVID-19 policies implemented by the league and by local regulations.
By some miracle, that looks like it could possibly change in 2020. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred spoke in an online event hosted by Hofstra University’s business school about the possibility of hosting fans. Manfred is hopeful that baseball can take notes from the NFL in how to safely do so.
I’m hopeful that the World Series and the LCS we will have limited fan capacity. I think it’s important for us to start back down the road. Obviously it’ll be limited numbers, socially distanced, protection provided for the fans in terms of temperature checks and the like. Kind of the pods like you saw in some of the NFL games. We’ll probably use that same theory. But I do think it’s important as we look forward to 2021 to get back to the idea that live sports, they’re generally outdoors, at least our games. And it’s something that we can get back to.
Manfred and MLB expect that the final three rounds of the postseason in 2020 will be played in a bubble-type atmosphere. He is hopeful that the Championship Series and World Series will be able to host fans in a very limited capacity.
MLB plans on having these bubbles in Texas and in Calfornia. Manfred also talked about how most cities that teams play in have been granted exemptions by local governments. Those exemptions do not, however, exist with the intent of having fans in the stands. That would need to change.
Very few NFL teams decided to host fans for the first week of the season. The Cleveland Browns are allowing 10% capacity, just a little under 7,000 fans. The Indianapolis Colts plan on allowing no more than 2500 fans into their games. The Kansas City Chiefs had the highest attendance at just over 16000 to start the season. It’s unclear what direction MLB would take in regard to the percentages.