FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Minnesota Twins’ three-game series in Seattle at the end of this month will not be played as scheduled at T-Mobile Park due to the ongoing spread of the novel coronavirus, and their opening series in Oakland also could be affected.
As the state grapples with an outbreak of the virus, Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced Wednesday, March 11, a restriction on gatherings of more than 250 people in multiple counties, including King County, where the Mariners play. The restriction is through the end of March, though Inslee said at a news conference that it is “very likely,” that the ban could be extended past that.
The Twins are scheduled to open their season with a four-game series in Oakland beginning on March 26, though the Bay Area also has been greatly impacted by the virus.
“The Seattle Mariners are working with the Major League Baseball Office of the Commissioner on alternative plans for our games that were scheduled for the end of March at T-Mobile Park in Seattle,” the Mariners said in a release. “While we hope to be back to playing baseball in Seattle as soon as possible, the health and safety of our community is the most important consideration.”The Twins are scheduled to open their season with a four-game series in Oakland beginning on March 26, though the Bay Area also has been greatly impacted by the virus.
“Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our community,” the Athletics said in a statement. “We will adhere to any government directives, and work with Major League Baseball on all alternative arrangements to ensure the health of our fans and our community remains a top priority.”
On Wednesday, San Francisco Mayor London Breed issued an order announcing restrictions on gatherings of more than 1,000 people, and nearby Santa Clara County has done similar. The Golden State Warriors reportedly will play their games without fans in attendance, and the Giants said in a release that they will not play their upcoming March 24 exhibition game with the Athletics in San Francisco.
Public health officials have advised against holding events with large crowds, and multiple college basketball tournaments already have been canceled. Major League Baseball has yet to cancel or postpone regular-season games, though the situation remains fluid.
“It’s definitely a situation that is tough to understand and to try to grasp,” Twins reliever Taylor Rogers said. “Basically, we are going to be on our toes and do whatever MLB has us doing. That’s all we can do.”