The Korea Baseball Organization is preparing guidelines to gradually admit fans back into parks, reports Jeeho Yoo of Yonhap News (via Twitter). The expectation is the league will admit fans at approximately 30 percent of stadium capacity to start out, perhaps as soon as next weekend. If all goes well, the league could incrementally increase admissions thereafter, Yoo reports.
Predictably, the in-stadium experience would look quite different than it would’ve in a normal year. Yoo notes that fans would be required to stay apart from one another and wear masks, while concession stands would mostly remain closed.
Restrictions notwithstanding, the plan’s finalization would be a welcome step for Korean baseball. The KBO began play without fans on May 5 and has proceeded without stoppage for the better part of two months. That is obviously a reflection of South Korea’s broader success in limiting the spread of COVID-19.
It is unlikely, of course, that MLB fans will enjoy entry into a ballpark at any point in 2020. The league has yet to officially rule out in-person attendance this season, but the massive uptick in coronavirus cases throughout the U.S. makes clear that it will almost certainly not be feasible. Indeed, Dodgers president Stan Kasten told Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times this week he has no expectation of even a small number of fans attending Dodger Stadium any time soon.