On Wednesday, San Francisco mayor London Breed announced that the city is banning public events with 1,000 or more people due to the coronavirus outbreak. The temporary ban is for the next two weeks, at a minimum.
This morning we announced that the Health Officer of San Francisco is issuing an order prohibiting all large group events of 1,000 or more persons, effective immediately.— London Breed (@LondonBreed) March 11, 2020
This is necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19, and builds on our previous public health recommendations.
The San Francisco Giants are among the many teams and organizations impacted by the ban, albeit only marginally — for now. The Giants have just one home game that falls into that two-week window.
That game — an exhibition contest against the Oakland A’s on March 24 — will not happen at Oracle Park, though both teams are still working on alternative locations to play the game.
It goes without saying that the ban may not be lifted in two weeks. The World Health Organization is officially listing the coronavirus as a pandemic, which means this could go on for much longer. The Giants next game in San Francisco is scheduled for April 3, when they have their home opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
For now, the Giants are reportedly avoiding Northern California altogether. John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the team has plans to stay in Arizona for the time being. The Giants were previously scheduled to play the A’s in Oakland on March 23, and the Sacramento River Cats (the Giants AAA affiliate) in Sacramento on March 22.
I hear Giants are staying in Arizona instead of playing exhibitions in Sacramento, San Francisco and Oakland. They’ll instead continue playing exhibitions in Arizona and await word on the regular season.— John Shea (@JohnSheaHey) March 11, 2020
San Francisco is not the first, nor the last city to implement such bans, which are currently threatening the MLB regular season. We could see a large chunk of games canceled, rescheduled, or played elsewhere.
We could also potentially see games played without fans, as the Giants Mission Bay neighbors, the Golden State Warriors, will be doing tomorrow.
The Golden State Warriors are planning to play foreseeable home games without fans in observance of the San Francisco Health Office's order prohibiting group of events of 1K or more from assembling, source tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 11, 2020
Sports are obviously low on the totem pole of concern with the coronavirus outbreak, but it’s increasingly clear that the upcoming MLB season will be impacted.