Major League Baseball was hit hard during the 2020 season.
The coronavirus pandemic affected everything in its path once it arrived in the U.S. at the beginnnig of the year. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred noted in an interview with Sportico that the 30 MLB teams are $8.3 billion in debt from their different lenders, and they are expected to post between $2.8-$3 billion in operational losses this year.
“We are going to be at historic high levels of debt,” Manfred told the website. “And it’s going to be difficult for the industry to weather another year where we don’t have fans in the ballpark and have other limitations on how much we can’t play and how we can play.”
The 2021 MLB season is expected to start on time, but everything is still up in the air about how they will operate moving forward amid the coronavirus pandemic. San Diego Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler told 97.3 The Fan his thoughts on what the league will endure next.
“We really don’t know what ‘21 is going to be,” Fowler said. “We expect that there’s going to have to be vaccines before we start spring training… Baseball has experts that they are relying on.
“All I know is we can’t do a 162-game schedule based on the protocols that were in place for the 60 games… We’re looking for input. We’re going to have to negotiate with the Players Association. It’s a huge question mark,” Fowler added.
Back in September, Manfred told the Wall Street Journal that the idea of playing 162 games next year without fans would be “economically devastating.”
“If we’re going to play next year, and if we don’t have a vaccine and we aren’t past the pandemic, I think we need to think hard about what measures we can take to get people back into the ballpark,” Manfred said.