Nationals Unsure They’ll Start Season Using Home Stadium Because of COVID-19

Nationals Unsure They’ll Start Season Using Home Stadium Because of COVID-19

The scoreboard shows a World Champions logo for the Washington Nationals during an intrasquad baseball game at Nationals Park, Wednesday, July 15, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Alex Brandon/Associated Press

The Washington Nationals may not open the season at Nationals Park due to COVID-19 protocols enacted by the city of Washington D.C., according to Jesse Dougherty and Dave Sheinin of the Washington Post.

Per that report, the team is exploring alternate sites in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and West Palm Beach, Florida, just one week out from Opening Day. 

The main sticking point is the city’s requirement that any player, coach or staff who tests positive for the coronavirus would have to quarantine for 14 days, per Dougherty and Sheinin. The Nationals are worried that could serve as a competitive hindrance. 

The Los Angeles Dodgers are also dealing with city requirements regarding quarantine periods, though it is unclear if they are investigating alternate sites. 

Major League Baseball has strict rules for players or staff members who have tested positive for the coronavirus or may have been exposed, but a mandated 14-day quarantine isn’t among them. 

The organization’s Class A stadium at Fredericksburg is currently believed to be the leading candidate for Washington as a replacement site. 

The Nationals are set to host the New York Yankees on July 23. To date, the team has put eight players and one coach in D.C.’s 14-day quarantine for either testing positive for the coronavirus or potentially being exposed to it. 

Last week, Major League Baseball saw 66 positive COVID-19 test results (58 players, eight staff members) out of 3,740 total tests. 

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