Thanks to massive television deals, MLB teams rely less on ticket sales and in-stadium purchases (concessions, merchandise, etc.) to make money now than ever before. That said, some teams need gate revenue more than others, and playing games without fans may not be economically feasible for some teams. That’s an issue that would need to be resolved.
And it is just logical at this point, as one team executive said, “By a matter of weeks, we will be able to play games without crowds [before we can play games] with them.” Another official said, “I think the only way we play, at least initially, is without fans.”. One of the issues they did not — and could not — resolve is the regular season schedule. The two sides agreed to make a good faith effort to play as many games as possible this year, but ultimately, the schedule can not be set until COVID-19 is contained the required amount, whatever that is.On the other hand, playing games without fans would make neutral-site games a little more palatable. Home fans would not be shut out because they wouldn’t be allowed entry in the first place, and it could cut down on travel if multiple teams are playing neutral-site home games at their spring training complex in Arizona or Florida.