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Mariners to Relocate Opening Home Games as Washington and King County Prohibit Public Events

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You don’t have to go home, but you can’t play here

General view
It was a simpler time, you see.

This is a developing story. We will update this post as more announcements are made.

Governor Jay Inslee and other state and local Washington officials announced new measures this morning in an effort to slow the spread and transmission of COVID-19. The central measures involve limiting public gatherings and events over 250 attendees for the rest of the month of March, with a “very, very likely” chance of being extended. Inslee emphasized that this is not the flu and is potentially at least 10 times more deadly than the seasonal flu, and noted that the spread and rate indicates that this will be a severe and ongoing problem in Seattle and the State of Washington.

In connection with this, and consistent with our reporting last night, news leaked from Joel Sherman that the Mariners will relocate at least their first two home series against the Texas Rangers and the Minnesota Twins. The location of those series is unclear—as Ryan Divish has reported, the Mariners had already discussed the possibility of opening the season in Peoria. Presumably, playing in empty stadiums or playing those games in the Texas or Minnesota stadiums are also options under consideration. Inslee further noted that the White House will issue “similar” guidelines for the entire country in the near future, which leads one naturally to doubt whether any baseball games will be played anywhere after two more weeks of spread of the virus.

Ryan Divish further noted that there are additional negotiating considerations with the Players’ Union:

The Mariners will make an announcement on this topic very shortly, though it will likely not include specific plans at this time.

UPDATE 10:49 AM: The Mariners have issued a statement.

Ed. Note: Please remember our community guidelines when discussing topics that are inherently liable to spur political discussion. Let us treat each other respectfully and mindfully.