A's looking at alternatives to March home games

March 12th, 2020

MESA, Ariz. – In the Bay Area’s ongoing effort to combat the spread of the coronavirus, the City of Oakland and Alameda County on Wednesday implemented restrictions on gatherings of larger than 1,000 people, putting the Athletics' season-opening homestand in jeopardy.

“We are unwavering in our support of public health, and ensuring the safety of our community is our top priority,” the A’s said in a statement. “Following the City of Oakland and Alameda County’s announcement today prohibiting public gatherings of 1,000 people or more through the end of March, the Oakland A’s are working with Major League Baseball on alternative plans for our games that will be impacted at the Oakland Coliseum.

“We will provide more information about our plans for the games, including our ticket policy for impacted games, as soon as possible.”

The A’s are scheduled to open the season at home on March 26 with a four-games series vs. the Twins, followed by three games against the division-rival Astros. The team, in conjunction with Major League Baseball, will now look at alternative options for those series.

Similar restrictions announced Wednesday in Seattle and across the Bay in San Francisco put the wheels in motion on changes to the season-opening schedule in those cities. The Mariners were to host the Rangers, followed by the Twins, but those games likely will not be played in Seattle.

The San Francisco Giants announced earlier Wednesday that the upcoming March 24 exhibition game between the A’s and Giants at Oracle Park, the second of a two-game preseason Bay Bridge series, would not be played at that stadium. The first game in that series, to be played the day prior at the Oakland Coliseum, will also need to be addressed.

“We will adhere to any government directives, and work with Major League Baseball on all alternative arrangements to ensure the health of our fans and our community remains a top priority,” the A’s said in a statement after the Giants announcement.

Those plans will begin in earnest now. One reported possibility would be for the A’s to remain in Arizona after their final Cactus League game on March 21. This would allow for the possibility of playing the two exhibition games with the Giants, who also are considering staying in Arizona.

The Twins and Astros both are currently training in Florida.

“It’s something everybody will have to deal with. This is a bigger issue than sports,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “We’ll do whatever we’re asked to do and understand this is a pretty significant time in the world. I think everybody realizes there’s more at stake than just sporting life right now.”