Washington State Governor Jay Inslee has officially imposed a restriction on large gatherings in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties, the latest in a series of distancing measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and to avoid a total shutdown as seen in Italy and China.
These restrictions will affect parades and concerts in the city, as well as sporting events, including the Seattle Mariners, as the Major League Baseball team was set to open the season with seven-straight home games from March 26 to April 1.
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With the new restriction in place until midnight on March 31, the Seattle Mariners are working with the Major League Baseball Office of the Commissioner to come up with alternative plans for the scheduled games at T-Mobile Park.
The Mariners will have to make alternative plans, which likely means relocating games to a neutral site (perhaps in Arizona where they conduct spring training). Games could also be rescheduled or played at T-Mobile Park without an audience, as the Golden State Warriors are doing in San Francisco tomorrow.
“The Seattle Mariners are working with the Major League Baseball Office of the Commissioner on alternative plans for our games that were scheduled for the end of March at T-Mobile Park in Seattle,” the Mariners announced in a statement released today.
“While we hope to be back to playing baseball in Seattle as soon as possible, the health and safety of our community is the most important consideration.”
The only concrete information given so far is that single-game ticket holders who purchased tickets directly through the Mariners will be automatically refunded to the method of payment used to make the purchase. Season ticket members, suite holders, and group buyers will receive credits for tickets to unplayed games.
Other sports teams in Seattle have also had to change their plans due to the new event restriction.
Seattle Sounders FC will be postponing their March 21 home match versus FC Dallas and “will continue following the guidelines set forth by our public health authorities and government agencies.”
The XFL’s Seattle Dragons will still play this Sunday but in a televised closed-door game at CenturyLink Field. Ticket holders for that game as well as a game scheduled for March 22 will be refunded directly by Ticketmaster.