MLB: Baseball aiming to have fans at World Series, says commissioner

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Sep 23 2020 09:22 AM

LOS ANGELES -- Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred hopes to have fans in the stadium for this year's World Series and National League Championship Series playoff games, a report said Tuesday.

In an interview with USA Today, Manfred said the league is keen to allow spectators at the World Series and the NLCS, which will take place in Arlington, Texas next month.

This year's abbreviated 60-game regular season has taken place in empty stadiums due to the ongoing coronavirus threat.

However, Manfred told USA Today that the league was planning to allow fans into Arlington's Globe Life Field for the NLCS starting on October 12.

"We are pressing ahead to have fans in Texas," Manfred was quoted as saying. 

"One of the most important things to our game is the presence of fans. Starting down the path of having fans in stadiums, and in a safe and risk-free environment, is very, very important to our game."

Under a revised playoff format, this year's championship series rounds will be taking place at neutral venues, with Texas hosting the National League games and California staging the American League deciders.

The winners of both of those rounds will advance to the World Series, which will also take place at Arlington starting on October 20.

Playing the Word Series at a neutral venue marks a break with long tradition of a home-and-away format.

Local authorities in Texas have adopted more relaxed guidelines concerning fans at sporting events, giving the green light to let limited numbers of fans into stadia, despite the state being a COVID-19 hotspot.

California state officials meanwhile have ruled out fans at sporting events, meaning no spectators will be allowed into postseason baseball games set for San Diego and Los Angeles.

© Agence France-Presse