Another day, another troublesome situation. This time it’s on the sporting field, rather than in the middle of the rioting, fiery streets. The Baltimore Orioles aren’t known for a lot of on-field success; indeed, the words ‘middling’ or ‘woeful’ is often used to describe the team from a historical standpoint. Now the Orioles are going to learn something truly historic: the first closed-stadium game in Major League Baseball history. The Baltimore Orioles will play the Chicago White Sox in an empty Camden Yards.
“It’s all about what’s best for the city and the safety of our people. The last thing you want to do is put the fans in harm’s way. You have to err on the side of safety,” said Baltimore manager Buck Showalter. “It’s definitely going to be unchartered territory.”
The lowest attendance for a major league game was when Worcester hosted Troy in a National League game back on September 28, 1882, where seven people showed up. The lowest for a modern game is probably the New York Yankees hosted the Chicago White Sox on September 22, 1966, which had an attendance of 413. It’s more common in football/soccer as a punishment for fan behavior, and has been done in minor leagues due to weather concerns and the like.
Indeed, after losing one home game crowd, Baltimore will sacrifice three more after this. Their weekend series versus the Tampa Bay Rays will be moved to St. Petersburg, Florida, per Orioles owner Peter Angelos.
“Nobody likes to lose home games, and this season we will be playing more games on the road than at home,” admitted Showalter. “But there are more important things involved here. We discussed every possible scenario, and this is what fits the best. Peter said it was the right thing to do. This has nothing to do with money or gate recepits.”
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