It might be a long time before Los Angeles Dodgers fans can return to Dodger Stadium to see baseball amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Fans excited to enter the new center field plaza at Dodger Stadium might have to wait until 2021.
California Governor Gavin Newsom all but confirmed there will be no Dodgers baseball at Dodger Stadium this summer. Speaking to a group of reporters, the Governor said all sports and large events in California are “unlikely” this summer.
“The prospect of mass gatherings is negligible at best until we get to herd immunity and get to a vaccine,” Newsom said, according to The Mercury News. “So large-scale events that bring in hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of strangers altogether across every conceivable difference, health and otherwise, is not in the cards based upon our current guidelines and current expectations.”
A vaccine for the novel coronavirus, which has shuttered businesses, including Major League Baseball, is unlikely to be developed and tested for mass use until 2021.
The Governor outlined six goals that need to be achieved before California can ease social distancing restrictions. Meanwhile, Los Angeles County on Monday confirmed 40 new deaths from the virus, the highest toll in a single day.
A day after Newsom’s remarks, the Los Angeles Times obtained an internal Los Angeles Fire Department email that highlighted mayor Eric Garcetti’s warning that large gatherings, including sporting events, may not be approved in the city before 2021.
Dodger Stadium is currently undergoing a massive renovation project to add home run seats past the outfield walls, along with a new center field plaza area. The $100 million project will add a variety of amenities, including a kid’s play area, new food and drink vendors, a live music section, and much more.
Dodgers president, Stan Kasten, recently said construction has slowed on the project in response to the virus, as well as adjusting to a later expected start date to the season, which now might not be until 2021, at least at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers were set to host the MLB All-Star Game in July. It is unclear if they would be awarded a new game in the future if the event is forced to be cancelled. The Atlanta Braves and their new ballpark, Truist Park, is scheduled to host the game in 2021.
Major League Baseball is considering a plan to sequester players and team personnel in Arizona, and possibly Florida, to play the 2020 season in front of empty Spring Training ballparks. An idea that has been met with skepticism by players, and particularly from Clayton Kershaw, who doesn’t want to leave behind his family for several months to play baseball.