Twins won't be playing games in Seattle during opening week

Games will be moved to TBD location due to coronavirus concerns in Pacific NW

Lindsey Peterson
March 11, 2020 - 4:35 pm
T-Mobile Park (Seattle)

(Getty Images / Bjorn Bakstad)

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The Twins opening road trip to start the 2020 season just got a little more interesting. 

The Seattle Mariners are seeking alternative options for their season-opening series after Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced Wednesday a ban on all large gatherings in the three counties of the Seattle metro area because of the virus outbreak.  The Mariners host the Twins March 30th-April 1st.  

Inslee said social gatherings of 250 or more people, including sporting events, are banned through at least the end of March because of the COVID-19 outbreak in the Seattle area. Officials said gatherings of under 250 could also be barred unless specific measures are followed.
The decision impacts the Mariners' first seven games of the Major League Baseball season against the Twins plus their opener against the Texas Rangers (March 26-29).

In a statement, the Mariners said they are working with MLB to find alternatives for the games scheduled during their opening homestand.

"While we hope to be back to playing baseball in Seattle as soon as possible, the health and safety of our community is the most important consideration. We will provide more information about our plans for the games as it becomes available," the Mariners said in their statement.



Twins President Dave St. Peter told the Star Tribune that “Multiple scenarios are being considered about where games will be played, and no decisions have been made. The Twins will continue to work closely with Major League Baseball and the Mariners to finalize those plans.”

MLB could shift the Rangers-Mariners four-game series to Texas. The Rangers are set to open a retractable-roof stadium this year, and Texas general manager Jon Daniels said this week the park would be ready if need be.  The Twins are not as ideal to host the series in late March at Target Field with weather being an obvious concern. The Twins are scheduled to play their home opener on Thursday, April 2nd against Oakland.  

The concerns over coronavirus are impacting college sports now too.  NCAA President Mark Emmert announced Wednesday that all NCAA Division I basketball tournament games will be played without fans in the arenas.

The Seattle area is dealing with the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the country -- there have been 19 deaths from the same suburban nursing home. Inslee said Tuesday the state is preparing for potentially tens of thousands of cases, based on estimates of the spread of the disease. 
For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

The Mariners' options could also include playing home games at the team's spring training facility in Arizona, moving them to another open venue, or trying to switch scheduled home games with the Rangers and Twins. 

(The Associated Press contributed to this article)

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