Are we closer to getting back to live sports amid the COVID-19 pandemic? That’s not yet known. Though, national leaders are working with the professional sports world in the United States to come up with a plan.
MLB might be the first to return. A recent report suggested that the league is looking at playing all of its games in Arizona with the season potentially starting some time in late May.
While that might be a optimistic plan, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred noted on Wednesday that they will do everything possible to make sure baseball is played this year.
“I think it’s incumbent upon us to turn over every stone to try to play the game in 2020 if there’s any way we can in the environment,” Manfred said, via the Associated Press.
MLB players and employees are currently engaged in an antibody study with Stanford Medical Center to see how widespread the virus is in the United States. Said test can show whether an individual has carried COVID-19 in the past. This would be one of the first steps for sports to resume and states around the country to lift their stay-at-home order. Those two obviously go hand in hand.
Manfred might be optimistic, but he also understands that the reality of the situation will play the biggest role in a return to live sports. He’s also pretty confident it will resume in 2020.
“We have tried to be cautious about trying to go too soon, based on what the public health situation is,” the commissioner said. “For people to be out there saying we’re not going to have any sports in 2020, I think that’s going the other way. I think we all need, no matter what your predilection is, to wait for the situation to unfold more, give us more information and then make realistic decisions about what’s possible.”
At this point, it’s a foregone conclusion that any sporting events moving forward during the 2020 calendar year would be without fans in attendance. It might be a less-than-ideal scenario, but it sure the heck beats the alternative.
Right now, it’s all about flattening the curve, acquiring more widespread testing and tracking how the virus is spreading.