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MLB owners approve plan to start season in July, reports say

Deadline for Tropicana Field redevelopment plans
Posted at 2:52 PM, May 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-12 07:29:18-04

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Major League Baseball could be on its way back.

According to a report from the Associated Press, MLB owners have approved a plan that would have player take the field for Opening Day on July 4.

While the players' union must also approve the plan, the owners' proposal has the shortened 2020 season to have games take place without fans in the stands.

Many Tampa Bay Rays fans, however, are just happy that baseball could be back sooner than later.

"Totally ecstatic," said longtime Rays fan Robert Szasz. "Couldn't have come at a better time. Just to get it back. We need baseball. Baseball is our sport."

In a statement to ABC Action News, St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman's office stated, "Mayor Kriseman has said if baseball is to return to St. Pete this year, it must be with public health at the forefront. And so we are eager to learn more about this plan."

Spring training will resume sometime in June, reports say.

According to the proposal, the designated hitter rule would also apply to the National League and all 30 teams would play about 82 regular season games, AP reports. Postseason play would expand from 10 teams to 14 teams, AP reports.

If the 2020 season does take place, the Rays are looking to build off a very successful 2019 campaign. Tampa Bay won 96 games and was a game short of upsetting the eventual AL champs, the Houston Astros, in the division series last season.