The 2020 Major League Baseball campaign might not be played entirely without fans after all - at least not once the postseason rolls around.
"I'm hopeful that (during) the World Series and the (league championship series) we will have limited fan capacity," MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said Monday, according to Evan Drellich of The Athletic. "I think it's important for us to start back down the road. Obviously it'll be limited numbers, socially distanced, protection provided for the fans in terms of temperature checks and the like.
"Kind of the pods like you saw in some of the NFL games. We'll probably use that same theory. But I do think it's important as we look forward to 2021 to get back to the idea that live sports, they're generally outdoors, at least our games. And it's something that we can get back to."
The NFL opened its 2020 season this past weekend with fans in attendance in limited numbers at stadiums in certain states.
MLB is slated to stage the last three rounds of the 2020 playoffs at neutral sites. Though there has been no formal announcement, the American League Championship Series is reportedly scheduled to take place at the San Diego Padres' home ballpark of Petco Park, while the National League Championship Series and World Series will be played at Globe Life Field - the Texas Rangers' new stadium.
The postseason plan is reportedly awaiting union approval.
To date, the MLB season has been played entirely without fans in attendance, with games taking place at every home ballpark except for the Toronto Blue Jays' Rogers Centre.