As Houston runs out of hospital beds, the Astros want to sell tickets.
Astros owner Jim Crane cited revenue losses on Wednesday, expressing his desire to draw fans to Minute Maid Park for the upcoming MLB season. He made the comments a day after MLB and MLBPA ended a lengthy standoff by agreeing to health measures that will allow Commissioner Rob Manfred to implement a timeline to start a truncated season in late July.
“That is the plan,” Crane told reporters at a press conference on Wednesday. “We still have to go through the player protocol. We are still focused on that.
“I think the intention at some point is to attract fans to the stadium.”
Why is the urge to get followers in the stands like a COVID-19 outbreak in Texas? Income, said Crane, which has an estimated value of $ 1.3 billion.
‘Get people in the building’
Crane cited an estimated $ 3 billion loss to MLB during the shutdown, and asked that fans be allowed to attend games amid the pandemic.
“The only thing we have to do to counter that is get some people into the building and sell some tickets and some merchandise and cold beer or whatever they leave us,” Crane said.
‘Massive outbreak’ in Texas
Crane’s announcement came the same day that Texas Governor Greg Abbott recognized a “massive outbreak” when the state saw new cases of COVID-19 overshadow 5,000 and hospitalizations topped 4,000 for the second consecutive day.
In April, Abbott initiated relaxed COVID-19 restrictions to restart the state’s economy. On Wednesday, he suggested reimplementing some of those restrictions to maintain hospital space for sick patients.
‘It is absolutely horrible’
Dr. Peter Hotez described the situation in Texas for the Chronicle as “horrible”. Hotez is the dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. The Chronicle touches Hotez as an “internationally renowned infectious disease expert.” You are working to develop a vaccine for COVID-19.
“It is absolutely horrible,” said Hotez. “I am terribly upset by what I see happening. There were some predictive models outside of Pennsylvania that actually showed this. That’s why he didn’t want Texas to open up as soon as it did. “
The Astros aren’t the only team looking to rally fans for the MLB reboot.
Will MLB teams welcome fans?
Miami Mayor Carlos A. Giménez anticipates the Marlins are seeking to sell tickets. He told Fox Sports ‘Andy Slater that the Marlins will need to come up with a plan that shows how fans can distance themselves socially, but that he will consider allowing fans to enter the Marlins’ park as early as July.
Meanwhile, Florida has seen a similar increase in COVID-19 cases that has led New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to require state visitors to remain in quarantine for 14 days. Texas is also on the New York list.
In Chicago, Danny Parkins of the 670 The Score reports that the White Sox plan to play with “a limited number” of fans in the stands.
As for the Astros, Crane says there is no specific plan and that the Astros will work with the guidance provided by state and regional leadership. The team sent an email to ticket holders announcing that “it is unclear if fans will be able to attend the games this season.”
“We really won’t know until the opening day,” Crane told reporters. “We will definitely speak to the governor, the mayor here, and the county judge. We have some time.