No fans, no fun: Athletes uneasy over empty-arena solutions

Tomoyuki Sugano
Posted at 7:43 PM, Mar 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-08 20:43:06-04

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — As U.S. sports leagues weigh whether to bar fans from ballparks and stadiums to help stall the coronavirus outbreak, San Francisco Giants pitcher Jeff Samardzija is one of the few players who can tell them exactly what that looks like.

He pitched for the Chicago White Sox in a 2015 game played without fans in Baltimore due to riots in the city. “It’s not very fun,” he said.

The NBA has already warned franchises that empty-stadium games might prove necessary, as has already become common in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. With MLB's opening day, March Madness and the Masters coming up, athletes are worried about the prospect of locked-down venues.