The Seattle Mariners’ won’t be able to play their season-opening homestand in Seattle after the Governor banned large gatherings through the end of March.
The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has reached the MLB regular season. The Seattle Mariners will have to take Opening Day – and at least their first two series – on the road after Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced a ban on large events through March.
Inslee announced on Wednesday a ban on events with more than 250 people in three counties, including King county where the Mariners play.
The Mariners were scheduled to open the season with a week-long homestand, hosting the Texas Rangers March 26-29 and then the Minnesota Twins March 30-April 1. They’re then scheduled to be on the road for a week before returning home April 9-14. Now it’s unclear when they will play their first home games in Seattle.
The Mariners released a statement saying:
“Following Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s announcement this morning that he is banning large group events through March, the Seattle Mariners are working with the Major League Baseball Office of the Commissioner on alternative plans for our games that were scheduled for the end of March at T-Mobile Park in Seattle.
“While we hope to be back to playing baseball in Seattle as soon as possible, the health and safety of our community is the most important consideration.”
It’s still unclear what options the Mariners have for alternate venues and how the coronavirus will impact the beginning of the baseball season elsewhere. The Wall Street Journal’s Jared Diamond reported earlier on Wednesday that MLB preferred taking any affected games to different location over playing in front of completely empty ballparks.
The Mariners make their spring training home in Peoria, AZ. which is reportedly being considered as a possible venue for displaced regular-season games.
For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website or the website for your state’s Department of Health.