Had the MLB season not been uprooted by the novel coronavirus, the Twins would be preparing to host the Oakland Athletic's in their Home Opener at Target Field on Thursday. Instead, baseball is in a wait-and-see mode as the pandemic spreads, leaving an uncertain future for all sports.
Dave St. Peter, president of the Twins, told WCCO Radio Wednesday morning that if the season is allowed to start at some point in the future, games could be played without fans.
"Every scenario is on the table. We've certainly looked abroad to how sports has returned in China, how sports has started to return in places like South Korea and even Japan. In those cases, they have returned with no fans," said St. Peter. "That's a possibility for all of the major professional and collegiate sports in the United States, whether it be a short-term thing or a long-term thing, don't know.
"That's a possibility and it's one of the scenarios that is being considered for Major League Baseball. Neutral-site games are being considered as well as obviously traditional games and a home ballpark with fans."
According to Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci, playing games without fans is not appealing to MLB officials.
"MLB has little to no appetite for playing games in empty stadiums or for a postseason that extends into December," Verducci wrote, citing a league source.
"I think there's still a lot of questions around where baseball fits and if it'll fit and at the right time we continue to hopeful baseball will come back," said St. Peter.
"At the end of the day, it's about over-communicating this timeframe and we'll have a lot of information on tickets and potential for credits and exchanges and even refunds when the time is right."
When playing again is deemed safe, St. Peter says the Twins "will be ready to roll."
Meanwhile, fans who purchased tickets to games at Target Field are waiting to find out what happens to the games they're missing because of the postponement of the start of the season.
"At the end of the day, it's about over-communicating this timeframe and we'll have a lot of information on tickets and potential for credits and exchanges and even refunds when the time is right," St. Peter said.