In yesterday’s blog, I predicted an NFL season will be played. I put an MLB season in the “iffy” column, but most analysts think there will be one. If the COVID-19 curve flattens as predicted, there will be a season because so much money would be lost otherwise.
If there is a 2020 baseball season, what will it look like? The consensus is that there won’t be a full 162-game schedule, the playoffs would extend into November and postseason games would be played at neutral, warm-weather sites, or in domed stadiums.
There is a lot of speculation, of course, and no one knows anything for sure at this point. But according to baseball columnist Jeff Passan, who probably knows more than anyone else about what might happen, here’s what the season could look like:
- Launch spring training in mid-May.
- Begin the season in late May or early June and run into October with a schedule of about 140 games. The season was originally scheduled to end on Sept. 27.
- Include more split doubleheaders than usual.
- Possibly cancel the All-Star Game.
- Add more teams than usual to the playoffs.
In my opinion, this is a fairly aggressive timeline. Other analysts are saying July 4th might be a more realistic start date. It’s the effectiveness of the coronavirus containment strategies that will determine when the season starts and how it starts.
Games played in June or July could be played without fans in the stands. This would still be profitable because with huge television deals, MLB teams rely less on ticket sales and in-stadium purchases (concessions, merchandise, etc.) than before.
I’m glad I decided to attend spring training games in February in Florida because those were the only games I will be attending in 2020. Rest assured, however, that I will be in front of my television set (and on my computer) watching them.