Rob Manfred says MLB ‘will be more aggressive’ about fans attending games in 2021

By Erin Walsh | Last updated 11/13/20

With COVID-19 numbers continuing to rise across the United States, fans attending sporting events in certain markets seems like something that won’t happen any time soon. However, it appears Major League Baseball wants spectators back sooner rather than later. 

According to The Athletic’s Evan Drellich, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred stated that the league “will be more aggressive about having fans in ballparks” for the upcoming campaign. 

“If local public health authorities allow for fans, I think you’re going to see fans in the ballpark next year,” Manfred said. “Now, will it be full stadiums? I kind of doubt that.

“But we do think it’s important, and it’s why we did it in the World Series and the LCS: To get people accustomed to the idea that you can go to these live events with appropriate protocols, pods of people, social distancing, masks, and do it safely.”

Fans were only allowed to attend games during the 2020 season in a limited capacity during the National League Championship Series and World Series, which both took place at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

According to Manfred, playing another season without fans isn’t something that’s reasonable for the league. MLB says 40% of its revenue comes from fans attending games and cited losses between $2.7 and $3.1 billion in 2020. 

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