TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Could Major League Baseball teams head to Arizona to start the season? Governor Doug Ducey said he’s open to the idea.
Like other sports seasons and major events, spring training was cancelled and the start of the 2020 season is on hold because of the coronavirus.
The Associated Press first reported one idea in a recent discussion with the league and players’ association includes putting all 30 teams in the Phoenix-area this season and playing in empty ballparks.
"I think two words that would allow the country and state of Arizona to know that things were headed back to normal would be, “play ball,'” said Governor Doug Ducey.
Gov. Ducey said he’s had discussions with MLB Commissioner , but said he wanted to hold the content of the discussions in confidence during a press conference Tuesday,
“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," said Gov. Ducey.
Arizona is at an advantage, with ten spring training ballparks and the Diamondbacks’ home field all within about 50 miles.
While different scenarios include teams playing to empty stands, Gov. Ducey said the state does have the facilities and hotel space available. However, public health and safety is the top priority before there is a first pitch.
“We’re going to know a lot more about where we are and where the nation is each day as April unfolds, but it would be something that I think would be, something Arizona is open-minded to and I’m open-minded to,” said Gov. Ducey.
MLB is reportedly considering getting this underway as early as late May.