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Diamondbacks do not expect to play with home fans for 2020 season

Ketel Marte #4 of the Arizona Diamondbacks reacts after hitting a grand-slam home run against the Boston Red Sox during the sixth inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on April 05, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Houston Astros owner Jim Crane made headlines Wednesday when asked if the Astros will allow fans in games for the 2020 season.

“That’s the plan,” he said.

To no surprise, Crane backed up that sentiment by saying that fans in the building is a way to “counter” the unavoidable revenue losses his organization faces. Crane did say the team still has to go through player protocol but reiterated “the intent is at some point is to get fans in the ballpark.”

That’s a concerning statement just about anywhere considering the state of the COVID-19 pandemic, but particularly in Houston, where ICU capacity could be exceeded as early as Thursday, per the Houston Chronicle.

Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick did not share Crane’s point of view.

“My expectation and our expectation is we are going to be playing our games this year without fans in the ballpark,” he said on Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo Wednesday.

Arizona joins Texas in being one of the worst trending states when it comes to coronavirus cases, with the percentage of positive tests consistently rising throughout June. As you’d expect, the D-backs see too much risk for everyone involved.

“The answer needs to be that the most important thing for us is the health of the players and the health of any fans and we aren’t going to operate from the standpoint of, ‘Let’s squeeze out a few more dollars by bringing people into the ballpark,'” Kendrick said.

With that in mind, the organization remains open-minded on the possibility being there for fans to be let back in later in the season.

“Now, if we’re two months from now, let’s go down the road,” Kendrick said. “And we’re in August, and we’re in a better setting, and our government feels comfortable, the health and safety protocols in our state and in our community are a different set that we are living with today — (then) it’s something we can revisit.”


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