Rays, Dodgers make World Series, set to play in front of fans


Photo credit: Gabrielle Rodriguez

photo by Gabrielle Rodriguez

Although the Major League Baseball (MLB) regular season did not go as planned, with COVID-19 outbreaks and multiple series’ being postponed, the World Series is finally upon us.

This has been an exciting Major League Baseball (MLB) postseason, to say the least, with the Los Angeles Dodgers coming back from being down three games to one against the Atlanta Braves in the National League Championship Series (NLCS), and the Tampa Bay Rays barely holding off the Houston Astros in the American League Championship Series. Now, the Rays will face the Dodgers in a Fall Classic sure to be unlike any other in history.

The World Series will be held in the Texas Rangers’ brand new Globe Life Field in Arlington, and fans will be allowed at games for just the second time this season, with the first being during the (NLCS), also held in Arlington. Open-air stadiums are legally allowed to have 50% capacity in Texas. Globe Field seats 40,300 fans, but only about 11,500 tickets will be sold, with 950 fans in suites. Tickets will be sold in groups of four seats, called pods. Seats within a pod cannot be broken apart for sale, and each pod will be at least six feet from each other. Masks will be mandatory for fans except when eating or drinking.

It makes sense that the MLB is finally allowing fans, as other leagues like the National Football League (NFL) have been allowing fans in certain stadiums. Since it looks as though we might not have a vaccine for a long time, it makes sense for sports leagues, like other businesses, to move forward and find new safe ways to do things that used to be considered ‘normal.’

However, it is not in the country’s interest to allow fans in for the World Series or any other sporting event. As cases continue to rise in the US, we should not become complacent with COVID-19 precautions. If the people who decided to go to the game were the only ones to be affected if they were to contract COVID-19, that would be one thing; however, we know that many people can be asymptomatic with COVID-19, and one person can spread the virus to many people. Therefore, attending the World Series is putting other people at risk too. There are plenty of safer things that people are able to do right now than going to a professional baseball game.

In the past two weeks, cases have increased in the US by 29%. This is important to note, as the World Series is likely to bring a national audience to Arlington and affect the city long after the tourists are gone. Not only that, but people who come to Texas for the World Series are more likely to be dining out, possibly going to bars, and staying in local hotels. While this is great for the economy at a time when it is so desperately needed, it is important to note that this is putting hospitality workers at risk when they do not have the option to stay at home like the rest of us.

Additionally, it is hard to force people to wear their masks. When watching football games on TV, there are often many people not wearing masks. If fans cannot be responsible enough to wear masks, it’s hard to justify having fans at sporting events when many people are still unable to return to work — or are forced to work in unsafe conditions — and many children are still not able to go to school.

It does look like the pandemic will continue for the foreseeable future, so it is important that we can learn how to do things we used to do with minimal risks. MLB is taking a big step in allowing fans at the World Series. Time will tell if the decision was, in fact, a wise one.