Arizona gov says state is open to hosting empty-stadium MLB season

Arizona gov says state is open to hosting empty-stadium MLB season
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Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) on Tuesday welcomed the prospect of MLB playing the entirety of the 2020 season before empty stadiums in the state, saying that he had been in contact with league officials about plans for handling the coronavirus pandemic.

“I have had discussions with the commissioner of Major League Baseball,” Ducey said at a press conference, USA Today reported. “While I want to hold the content of those discussions in confidence, I just want everyone to know that Arizona, at the right time, is very open-minded to hosting whatever Major League Baseball would like from the state, at the time that it would be appropriate for public health if Arizona were in a position to reopen."

“We have the facilities that are here. We have the hotel space that is here. We want to make sure that the metrics and data are proper before we are able to go forward," he continued.

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Ducey went on to say that the resumption of national pastimes such as baseball would bring a sense of normality to his state and the country at large.

“Two words that would allow the country and the state of Arizona to know that things were headed back to normal would be, ‘Play ball,’ ” he said.

The fate of the professional baseball season appears to be down to a competition between the governors of Arizona and Florida, both of whom have expressed interest in MLB playing some or all of its 2020 games in their states should conditions allow players to retake the field. MLB officials have discussed the possibility of holding this year's season in one stadium without fans attending the game, with the Arizona Diamondbacks' Chase Field being listed as a top possibility.

MLB training facilities are largely split between the two states, and experts have pointed to the density of training facilities in Arizona as a reason why games could be played there.