Diner Question: Would you consider attending Orioles games in 2020? - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Dubroff’s Diner

Diner Question: Would you consider attending Orioles games in 2020?

No baseball has been played this season, and no one knows when, or if, it will be played. If it’s played, no one knows what form it will take.

For the Orioles, it’s especially painful. This was the second season of the team’s rebuild, and minor league prospects would be getting essential seasoning time.

Last season, home attendance fell for the fifth straight season to 1.3 million, and it could have fallen even further this season.

The coronavirus pandemic has paralyzed America and its sports. Some are speculating that if there are games played this season, they will be in spring training sites without fans—or in ballparks without paying customers.

Five years ago next week, on April 29, 2015, the Orioles and Chicago White Sox played a game in front of no fans after disturbances swept over Baltimore.

That was the only time in major league history a game was played without fans. None of the participants relished the game, although they understood the circumstances.

Each day, there are seemingly more states that have banned mass gatherings. New York has banned them through the end of June.

Other states are beginning to drop restrictions or contemplating a return to normalcy.

The NBA and NHL, which suspended their seasons just before baseball did, haven’t resumed and don’t know when they will.


Many of the staples of the spring and summer sports calendar — the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Indianapolis 500 and French Open — have moved their dates to August, September and October. Wimbledon has canceled its tournament.

The PGA is attempting to play some of its events in June, without fans.

The NFL Draft, scheduled to begin Thursday in Las Vegas, will be held virtually and the league hopes to go ahead with its season.

Even if fans are allowed to attend games, many have said they wouldn’t attend, perhaps not until there’s a vaccine for COVID-19, which might not come until next year.

This week’s Diner question: If spectators are permitted to attend Oriole games this season, would you consider going?

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB



  1. Indycoltman

    April 21, 2020 at 7:03 am

    No I would not. When there is a vaccine I will.

  2. Orial

    April 21, 2020 at 8:09 am

    What’s scary is that it seems a good portion of the population refuses to get a vaccine.

    • Orial

      April 21, 2020 at 8:14 am

      Not this year Rich. When I do I will be that guy sitting way up by myself in the upper deck. I still can’t understand how so many people don’t take this serious and how many still say they will never get a vaccine. My only solace in this whole thing is knowing that all that talent the Yankees have is wasting away for another year.

  3. general81

    April 21, 2020 at 8:11 am

    I would attend games in a heartbeat. If there were games this weekend, I would absolutely attend.

  4. JoeFundo

    April 21, 2020 at 8:28 am

    Fire Rob Manfred, get a commissioner who LOVES the game, and I’ll go to OPACY tomorrow and watch the grounds crew water the grass.

  5. Greazy Tony

    April 21, 2020 at 8:36 am

    I won’t go to any games until there is a vaccine available. I love baseball but not enough to put my health at risk.

  6. Roley59

    April 21, 2020 at 8:53 am

    I have a 13 game plan so i will be attending games.

  7. CalsPals

    April 21, 2020 at 8:55 am

    I would go, honestly I’m guessing the social distancing part will take care of itself naturally because people won’t go…cheap tickets & my mask…go O’s…

  8. CB in CC

    April 21, 2020 at 9:01 am

    Definitely. I’ll make some new masks out of an extra Hawaiian shirt and be happy to social distance. Unfortunately attendance was already down enough that putting space between fans shouldn’t be too hard right now.

  9. cherijef

    April 21, 2020 at 10:09 am

    Currently having no vaccine and none projected for one year to 18 months I would be very apprehensive. For me the risk outweighs the baseball reward.

  10. TxBirdFan

    April 21, 2020 at 11:37 am

    I would go, although my wife would raise a fuss so ultimately I’d likely stay home and watch it on TV.

  11. Crabman51

    April 21, 2020 at 12:12 pm


  12. Birdman

    April 21, 2020 at 1:57 pm

    No … and even with a gradual “reopening” of the economy, I doubt mass gatherings, like fans at professional sports events, will be permitted in 2020, since public health experts are warning there is a significant risk that we may be hit with a “second wave” of the Coronavirus this coming Fall.

  13. boss61

    April 21, 2020 at 3:29 pm

    I am a season ticket holder since 1984. I am accordingly, invested. The Orioles have had my 2020 ticket $ now for a few months.

    And no, I would not attend. Here are the many inter-related reasons why:

    1. I believe to hold the season is patently unsafe. If it can be somehow made quasi-safe, the effort and investment is better spent supporting a more vulnerable, deserving and needing population.

    2. For public resources (police, public health, government employees at publicly-owned stadiums) to be used in any way to even possibly imperil people so that players, owners, advertisers and others can have their fun, seems wrong fundamentally. Help the hospital workers, paramedics, homeless, etc.

    3. Baseball fandom is geographic and woven into the local cultural fabric more than perhaps any sport. To hold the games on neutral sites and/or without fans present takes that away.

    4. I am 59 years old, moderately hypertensive if un-medicated and overweight. I know I am at elevated risk of getting a bad case of it if I catch it. I will do everything I reasonably can to avoid catching it. I go out when I must for groceries. That’s it.

    5. I fully expect the O’s to credit my 2020 payment to whatever season comes to exist under conditions of normalcy. I expect to be in the same seats for the same money, even if its not until (say) 2022. If they do not for any reason, I will be done with baseball forever.

  14. Bancells Moustache

    April 21, 2020 at 3:44 pm

    What time is first pitch?

  15. Dantor

    April 21, 2020 at 3:45 pm

    Have been making a yearly trip to see the O’s with my grandson. Had planned the trip for July this year, but will not risk his or my health,
    I live in Virginia Beach and have tickets to the Tides games, but would not attend them if all is not safe.

  16. BirdsCaps

    April 21, 2020 at 3:45 pm

    Absolutely! I am in my mid 20s, which puts me at the low risk group. On top of that, if games are played with fans, there would almost certainly be a discovery or treatment. This could be that the virus doesn’t spread during the summer months (something that many have hypothesized) or hopefully, a largely successful antiviral (to my knowledge there are 9 drugs being tested worldwide). Thus, if there are fans at games, it will be much safer than it currently is now. So, I think there will almost certainly be a season, but I think the chance of fans is 50/50 or 60/40 in favor of fans being at games at some point this year. P.S., Isn’t the KBO looking into how to slowly bring fans back during the season? If so that would be a test case.

  17. BobKominski

    April 21, 2020 at 4:13 pm

    The short answer is “no”. Even though I hold a 29-game plan in Baltimore and a 20-game plan in Pittsburgh, I wont be going into any large-scale venue for some time. I encourage all the “Live Free and Die” folks to lead the charge and show us what a ‘joke’ this is – just think of all the great seats you’ll get. Right after Spring Training stopped, The Onion (a daily humor newsite) published an article with the title “Orioles Urge MLB to Cancel Entire Season.” At this point I am thinking that might not be such a bad idea.
    If the crazy Arizona/Florida plan goes into place I will be happy to watch from the safe quiet of my home.
    I fear the long-lasting effects of this for the Orioles may be particularly bad.

  18. WorldlyView

    April 21, 2020 at 4:29 pm

    NO. I don’t live alone. If I touched the wrong surface or came into contact with the wrong person, I could be putting my family as well as myself at risk. Even if that risk is small, I don’t think it is worth taking the chance. If you listen to the doctors and scientists, you will hear that the dangers and spread of this virus will not disappear before this fall–especially if more states lift shelter in place restrictions. PS, I give the odds of having people in the stands for the 20/20 baseball season at 20% max. If two or more MLB players test positive, that number drops to zero. Again, I would be happy to be wrong.

  19. IrishAl81

    April 21, 2020 at 4:58 pm

    Yes. I would go, but I would recommend that my Dad (85) not attend games this summer.

  20. IrishAl81

    April 21, 2020 at 5:07 pm

    I think anti-viral treatments to mitigate the severity of the disease if you catch it are vitally important. For those of you banking on a vaccine before you go, they aren’t failsafe. You still could ne infected, so the treatment is important. (We will learn much more in the coming weeks than we know now.)

    • WorldlyView

      April 21, 2020 at 6:14 pm

      There are no proven vaccines at present. When one is approved, it will take quite a while to prepare, distribute, and administer 300 million-plus dosages.

  21. dlgruber1

    April 21, 2020 at 9:35 pm

    I’ve only missed 5 Opening Days since 1979 and I have my tix already for this years game. If they have an “Opening Day” I plan on being there.

  22. ldrmiles

    April 22, 2020 at 1:03 am

    I would consider it but it depends on the virus’ status as to whether I would go. I am sure I could social distance because there weren’t many people before the virus. I would love to go as I really miss baseball. Since I have COPD, Type II Diabetes and heart issues I need to be careful.

  23. bv22

    April 22, 2020 at 10:26 am

    Considering the O’s already have my money for 2020 season tix and Opening Day tix, and considering they’ve been loath to refund me any money whatsoever in the past, I’d have to go so I’m not throwing away money. I’m sure social distancing won’t be hard to do with the low attendance figures of recent years (except for Opening Day). If the O’s are open to applying the money I’ve spent this year to the 2021 season, then I’d take this year off for my own (and my family’s) safety. I really miss baseball (and sports in general) and I love attending live events, but I can take a year off now if it means being able to enjoy those things again in the long run.

    • BobKominski

      April 22, 2020 at 1:29 pm

      FYI – From what I can tell, NONE of the MLB teams have returned any money to any plan holder, or given them any significant information as to what they intend to do. I read a small piece several weeks ago that the MLB offices had instructed teams NOT to move forward on any ticket actions. Although, that said, I do seem to have received a credit card refund for the 2 extra tickets I bought for Opening Day as part of my season plan.
      If there i some kind of season that allows fans to attend, I’d expect the proposal across all teams would be to apply your $ to those new games. I suspect to maintain goodwill, 2021 credits or even refunds may be made available as well. Remember, if ANY season is played, the national and local cable tv/radio plans all start paying MLB money. Those sources are the lions share of MLB revenue. Fans walking through the gates are a significant minority of the $, but fans also incur massive labor costs, which will not happen with empty stadia, so their $ value is overstated.
      I’m sure our $ are ‘safe’, but if i needed the $500 to help pay rent or eat right now, I think I’d like my money back.

  24. BGrich2B

    April 22, 2020 at 5:08 pm

    Yes I will

  25. Olney Ogre

    April 23, 2020 at 10:08 am

    I have already attended Orioles games in 2020. Those games were in Sarasota, Port Charlotte, and North Port. I expect I will see Orioles games at those locations in late Summer or Autumn. I’m not traveling to Arizona to see the Orioles. At Camden Yards , sure I will attend , with so few fans remaining, there will be plenty of room to social distance. Give me a promo mask with the Angry Bird logo!

  26. Cooking with Kirby

    April 23, 2020 at 1:32 pm

    I would go. Prefer if they did screening – but would still go to a couple games

  27. Mtairyordge

    April 26, 2020 at 8:54 am

    Not sure I would attend in person.

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