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MLB pumps brakes on single-site Arizona plan

Chase Field, home of Major League Baseball's Arizona Diamondbacks

Major League Baseball is looking to slow speculation on a reported plan to stage all its games in the Phoenix, Arizona, area as part of a resumption plan from the Covid-19-imposed hiatus.

Hours after multiple reports of the league and MLB Players Association considering a revised schedule to have all 30 teams play in greater Phoenix, the league issued a statement seeking to downplay the proposed effort, though acknowledging numerous contingency plans are being considered. 

“While we have discussed the idea of staging games at one location as one potential option, we have not settled on that option or developed a detailed plan,” MLB said. “While we continue to interact regularly with governmental and public health officials, we have not sought or received approval of any plan from federal, state, and local officials, or the Players Association.”

The baseball effort, however, is just one around the sports industry of properties and players’ unions looking at developing controlled, single-site environments as a possible means to restart play amid the pandemic.

The National Basketball Association reportedly is looking at Las Vegas, Nevada, as the sole site for its postseason, the National Hockey League is reviewing several options for its games including North Dakota, and the Ultimate Fighting Championship is eyeing staging fights on a private island.

None of those efforts, however, are finalized, and NBA commissioner Adam Silver said there is still “too little information” to make any projections for that league.

“We are not ready at this time to endorse any particular format for staging games in light of the rapidly changing public health situation caused by the coronavirus,” MLB said.