Major League Baseball took a big risk this year by playing out the season across the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the postseason drawing closer and the dangers of the coronavirus becoming more real, MLB is now talking about using a bubble in October.
Since the MLB season began in late July, the league has experienced three COVID-19 outbreak that greatly impacted the schedule. After witnessing the success the NBA and NHL had with their bubble tournaments, MLB started considering its own quarantined postseason.
Latest on MLB’s potential plan for postseason bubble
As first reported by The Los Angeles Times, MLB started holding internal discussions in early August regarding the possibility of holding the postseason and World Series in a bubble-like environment.
Meanwhile, MLB looked on as the NBA and NHL’s plans worked to perfection. In Orlando, the NBA’s quarantine at Walt Disney World has seen zero positive COVID-19 tests, as has been the case for weeks. The NHL has used two hub cities for a bubble and, as with the NBA< has reported zero new cases of the coronavirus in the past few weeks.
While the regular season is important to MLB< the postseason and World Series is far more significant for the league’s bottom line. Without fan attendance, the league is dependent on broadcasting rights to games in October. With a billion-dollar deal recently signed and the expanded postseason this year, there is even more money on the line.
Unsurprisingly, momentum seems to be building towards a postseason bubble. According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, MLB is discussing playing out the postseason in “controller sites” with the AL playing in Southern California and the NL playing in Texas.
The discussions are ongoing, with stadium sites still being explored. There are multiple stadiums to choose from in both locations, with the new Globe Life Field in Arlington being a popular choice.
Given we’re only at the halfway point of the regular season, there is still time for MLB to figure things out. Of course, they will also need to get the players on board with playing in a bubble for the entire postseason.
Based on everything at stake for both sides, a bubble-like postseason in two hub cities could be the best solution for MLB. Keeping players and staff quarantined clearly works and if that leads to a full postseason without interruptions, baseball fans will be happy.