Astros owner Jim Crane wants to sell 'tickets, merchandise, cold beer' as COVID-19 spikes in Texas
Since Houston no longer has hospital beds, the Astros want to sell tickets.
Astros owner Jim Crane cited sales losses on Wednesday when he expressed his desire to lure fans into Minute Maid Park for the upcoming MLB season. He made the comments a day after the MLB and MLBPA ended a long standoff by agreeing to health measures that would allow Commissioner Rob Manfred to implement a schedule for the start of a shortened season in late July.
"That's the plan," Crane told reporters at a press conference on Wednesday. "We still have to go through the player log. We're still focusing on that.
"I think the intention is to bring the fans to the ballpark at some point."
Why the urgency of getting fans on the bleachers as a COVID 19 outbreak in Texas? Revenue, said Crane, who is valued at $ 1.3 billion.
"Bring Some People Into The Building"
Crane pointed to an estimated $ 3 billion in shutdown losses for MLB while demanding that fans be allowed to play in the midst of the pandemic.
"The only thing we have to do to counteract this is to bring some people into the building and sell some tickets and some goods and a cold beer or whatever they give us," said Crane.
"Massive outbreak" in Texas
Crane's announcement came on the same day that Texas governor Greg Abbott recognized a "massive outbreak" when the state saw new COVID-19 cases eclipse 5,000 and hospitalizations for a second day in a row 4,000 topped.
In April, Abbott introduced relaxed COVID-19 restrictions to get the state economy going again. On Wednesday, he proposed to implement some of these restrictions again to preserve the hospital room for sick patients.
Jim Crane led loss of revenue from ticket sales amid a COVID 19 crisis. (AP photo / Patrick Semansky)
"It is absolutely terrible"
Dr. Peter Hotez described the situation in Texas in the chronicle as "terrible". Hotez is dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. The Chronicle promotes Hotez as an "internationally known expert in infectious diseases". He is working on the development of a vaccine against COVID-19.
"It is absolutely terrible," said Hotez. "I'm terribly upset with what I see. There were some Pennsylvania prediction models that actually showed this. That's why I didn't want Texas to open up so early. "
The Astros are not the only team that wants to gather fans for the restart of MLB.
Will teams across the MLB greet fans?
The Mayor of Miami, Carlos A. Giménez, expects the Marlins to sell tickets. He told Fox Sports' Andy Slater that the Marlins must present a plan that shows how fans can distance themselves socially, but that he will consider admitting fans to Marlins Park in July.
Meanwhile, Florida has seen a similar increase in COVID-19 cases that has caused New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to quarantine state visitors for 14 days. Texas is also on New York's list.
In Chicago, Danny Parkins of 670 The Score reports that the White Sox plan to play in the stands with “a limited number” of fans.
As for the Astros, Crane says that there is no specific plan and that the Astros will operate under the guidance of state and regional leaders. The team emailed ticket holders saying that "it is uncertain whether fans will be allowed to play games this season."
"We won't really know until the opening day," Crane told reporters. “We will definitely speak to the governor, the mayor here and the district judge. We have some time. "
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