Throughout the negotiations between players and owners to get the 2020 season started, the messaging we heard from the owner side was that without fans in the stands, they couldn't afford to pay the players. That's why they kept asking for fewer games than the players wanted.
Now that we know the season will (probably) consist of 60 games amid the pandemic, it's interesting to see some owners speaking publicly about having fans at games.
Hal Steinbrenner, Yankees owner, spoke with YES Network about having fans at games Thursday. He said he thinks the 54,251-seat Yankee Stadium could be filled at 20 or 30 percent at some point during the 2020 season and that the team has already talked with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
"These conversations have already happened," Steinbrenner said. "We've already had lots of conversations with the Governor's office and he's been great. He's been a big advocate of getting sports back on the field and then eventually when things are safe, getting fans back in the stadium.
"We've done a lot of work. Ticketmaster has been great helping us out, really putting a diagram together which would keep everybody at least six feet apart and it would be limited. I'm sure it'll be in the 20-30 percent range, hopefully at first. It's definitely possible in the stadium to keep people at a safe distance, wearing masks at those capacities."
Everything is lining up for fans in some ballparks to show up, running at roughly a quarter capacity and likely requiring masks, it appears. Last week, Astros owner Jim Crane said having fans in Houston "was the plan" at some point during the season.