There’s a path for Fenway Park and TD Garden to host games in 2020.
But a certain set of conditions must be met before the Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics can head down that path, according to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.
Walsh told The Boston Globe on Friday he’s willing to reopen both venues this summer, so long as there are no fans in the stands and the city signs off on advanced health and safety protocols. The goal, according to Walsh, is to protect everyone — including the athletes — who will be required to report to those venues.
“There will be no fans in Fenway Park in July, there will be no fans in Fenway Park in August,” Walsh said, per The Globe. “We won’t even be near a situation where there’s herd immunity, and there certainly won’t be a vaccine.”
It’s obviously difficult to envision what Major League Baseball, the NHL or the NBA will look like upon returning, as a whole bunch of hypothetical scenarios have been floated in recent months, with varying levels of viability.
Some ideas involve relocating franchises to specific host cities, while others involve tweaking schedules in ways that minimize travel but still allow teams to play in their own home venues without fans.
For fan-less games to be played in Boston, according to Walsh, any plan must include COVID-19 protocols that meet the city’s standards. That includes a potential plan for MLB to begin a shortened regular season in July.
“We want to see the plan,” Walsh told The Globe. “We’ll have our public health experts take a look at it and make sure that they feel like everything is covered that needs to be covered moving forward here. We will treat it like every other industry in the city, same with entertainment.
“They’re personal teams and they have employees, and we want to make sure the teams and the employees are taking care of everything and looking through it all so that we can make sure if it does open it’s open in a safe way and the virus doesn’t spread.”
Let’s face it: Everyone, including Walsh, is itching for sports to return, as it’ll help establish some sense of normalcy amid the coronavirus pandemic. Safety remains the top priority, though, and it’ll be interesting to see how the leagues, the teams and the city ultimately tackle this unprecedented situation.