The Cincinnati Reds have reportedly submitted a proposal to the state of Ohio and Major League Baseball that would allow fans to attend games, which would make them the first and only baseball team to do so.
The Athletic's C. Trent Rosecrans reports that the plan has already been approved by the city and county, as seasonal employees have received an email from the team asking if they would be willing to return to work this year. In the email, the Reds organization asked for employees to let them know by Aug. 12, as they could opt out and still return to work next season.
For the plan to really move forward, it would need approval from the MLB, as well as the go-ahead from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine. Last month, DeWine did not rule out the possibility of fans being able to attend sporting events this year, though he emphasized the importance of social distancing.
"One advantage is that it’s outside," DeWine said. "One of the things we’ve learned is that outside is safer than inside. It’s safer when people keep a distance, it’s safer when people wear a mask. It’s certainly not inconceivable that you could have some fans for baseball or football. It’s all a question of distance."
Given the fact that baseball has already had two teams forced to pause their seasons due to coronavirus outbreaks, the idea of adding fans to the equation arguably feels like an unnecessary risk to a league that is struggling to finish the season.