Financial economics

Tiger season opens in Cleveland, where governor plans to limit ‘mass gatherings’


Major League Baseball has yet to cancel any games due to the continued spread of the Coronavirus. Not shows in Florida or Arizona, nor the regular season, which starts in about two weeks.

But there is a feeling the inevitable could be drawing closer and the decision may not be entirely in the hands of the league.

The latest statement from Ohio Governor DeWine on Wednesday afternoon discourage “mass gatherings” in the state could jeopardize the Detroit Tigers’ season opener against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on March 26 (not to mention the Cincinnati Reds’ parade and opener on the same day).

There are currently four cases of the virus in Ohio, all in the northern part of the state and three of them in Cuyahoga County, whose largest city is Cleveland.

DeWine said he would post a order on “mass gatherings” in the next 24 to 36 hours, although he did not elaborate on the specifics.

DeWine’s plan would ban fans from participating in NCAA tournament games in Dayton, but his announcement was quickly replaced by the NCAA. Minutes after the governor’s press conference, the NCAA said no spectators would be allowed for championship events, including games in the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, which runs until April 8.

Although there are still two weeks to go before opening day, most experts say the number of coronavirus cases is likely to rise, not fall, during this time. It seems unlikely that DeWine’s guidelines on “mass gatherings” will be lifted by then.

Of course, other states and cities could be under similar orders. There is currently two suspected cases in Michigan, both in metro Detroit. The Seattle metropolitan area has been particularly affected and has already banned large public gatherings. The sailors are consider alternate plans for their season-opening series against the Texas Rangers.

Baseball said the decision was “smooth” and they will look to health officials for guidance. But as other leagues act, baseball may soon be faced with a decision: postpone games or play them in empty stadiums.

The union representing Major League players released a statement on Wednesday saying it is focused on the safety of all members of the “baseball family”.

“The Players Association is in daily contact with Major League Baseball, and our staff speak regularly with federal health officials, state and local governments, and infectious disease experts to develop contingency plans. . As circumstances change, so will our efforts.

“Players want to compete and provide entertainment for fans. The Association’s goal will remain to find ways to do this in an environment that protects not only the personal health and safety of players, but also the health and safety fans, umpires, stadium employees, club employees and all members of the baseball family.

The Tigers were absent on Wednesday. They are set to resume their Grapefruit League schedule on Thursday against the Atlanta Braves at their home in Lakeland, Fla.

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