The idea of the KC Royals playing their regular season games in Arizona is a nice thought, but simply wouldn’t be a good idea in practice.
Before we go any further, I need to make one thing perfectly clear: I want to watch the KC Royals just as much as you do. Not old highlights. Not the World Series parade. I want to watch the 2020 Kansas City Royals take the field and play competitive baseball at Kauffman Stadium.
Emphasis on Kauffman Stadium. ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported Monday night that the MLB and its union are discussing possibly allowing the regular season to begin and be played in Arizona as early as May. The MLB has since made it clear that these were nothing more than preliminary discussions and a solution is far, far away. That’s probably a good thing.
Having games without fans would be a tough pill to swallow but for the sake of the Royals, most of us would be able to deal with it and watch from home. Packing up an entire baseball team and sending it to the desert to play games in front of no one all season, though, is not ideal. Holding players and team personnel alike in quarantine and not allowing them to see their families simply doesn’t sit well on the mind.
Chase Field is a wonderful place. I attended some games there when I was a student at Arizona State. I even went to Hohokam Stadium and Surprise Stadium for games. They’re both quality places and good experiences for fans. The only problem is… well, there won’t be fans.
On top of that, it’s not like the Phoenix area is without COVID-19 cases. While isolating teams is a safe idea and would keep them away from those who may have the virus, it’s not a guarantee. Players, coaches and essential staff would still all be put at some level of risk, regardless of where the games would be held.
Lastly, seeing the KC Royals play “home” games anywhere besides The K just wouldn’t be the same. It’s a good sentiment on behalf of the MLB and the union to get conversations going in order to resume play, but this seems like merely a concept at this point. A flawed, yet optimistic outlook on returning America’s pastime.
Until another plan is adopted or additional conversations are held, we’ll be waiting patiently for the KC Royals to be back. Stay healthy, everyone.