Rockies baseball fans may have to continue watching last season’s reruns. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Opening day for the 2020 Major League Baseball season is postponed indefinitely.
Impact of the coronavirus on MLB
The recent pandemic presented by the coronavirus (COVID-19) is highly contagious. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending all gatherings of 50 people or more be suspended or canceled for at least the next eight weeks.
Last week, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced that the MLB would follow CDC guidance and cancel games until at least mid-May.
News of the shutdown came two weeks before the Rockies’ Opening Day. Rockies’ manager Bud Black responded to the commissioner’s decision via the team’s Twitter page, expressing the league’s determination to keep fans and players safe during the outbreak.
“We’re encouraging [our players] to go home to be with family, to be safe to stay away from groups of people, just like all Americans,” Black said. “We are going day to day to see where this goes in a few weeks.”
Colorado gears up to face first pandemic in recent history
The COVID-19 outbreak in Colorado marks the state’s first modern-day pandemic.
In response, Gov. Jared Polis has declared Colorado to be in a state of emergency and has taken steps to enable residents to self-quarantine. Gov. Polis has also shut down all nonessential commerce throughout the state in hopes of containing the spread of the virus and reducing the time residents must spend in their homes.
Despite the disappointment of the season’s postponement, Rockies General Manager Jeff Bridich agreed with COVID-19 precautions.
As he posted on the team’s Twitter page: “The true focus is keeping players and their families healthy. We’re still in the midst of the spread of this virus. Right now, I think everyone is turning their focus to keeping people healthy, quarantining and social distancing.”
If Colorado sticks to its original plan, legal sports betting may be entering into the state just in time for the start of the MLB season.
Some find it difficult to fathom launching legal sports betting in Colorado at a time when pro sports has come to an unexpected standstill across the country. However, state legislators and gaming regulators have taken on the Rockies’ persistent spirit and are determined to keep to their original timeline.
Gaming regulators continue to issue sports betting licenses to companies throughout the state, and there are now 31 businesses prepared for the May 1 launch.
Online sports betting apps offer MLB teams, like the Rockies, and the states they call home the opportunity to regain some of the revenue they’ve lost at the stadiums.
The new normal?
Rather than playing in front of crowds, players can compete while fans watch and gamble on games from home.
While playing games without masses of cheering fans may sound peculiar, it may soon become a reality.
The thousands of people in close proximity and the abundance of plastic and metal surfaces where the virus can thrive for days would spread the virus like wildfire. If the Rockies start playing games without an audience, it will allow fans to indulge in their favorite pastime while practicing responsible social distancing.
Sportsbooks will generate revenue that will benefit both the MLB and state taxpayers, but this won’t become reality until the games commence. Until the MLB issues more information, there’s no way of knowing when the Rockies opening day will occur.