Dodger fans will have to wait until late May at the earliest for the start of the regular season after public health officials called on all major events to be delayed for eight weeks to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Major League Baseball today announced the two-month delay -- based on the latest Centers for Disease Control recommendations -- but did not set a new opening day.
Baseball officials had previously announced a two-week delay to the start of the regular season. The Dodgers had been scheduled to play the San Francisco Giants in the home opener on March 26.
Commissioner Rob Manfred hosted a conference call today with all 30 clubs, including the Dodgers, before releasing a statement pointing to the CDC guidance calling for a halt to any gatherings of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks.
The league announced the initial two-week delay last Thursday and also canceled all remaining Spring Training games, along with the 2020 World Baseball Classic qualifier games in Arizona.
Questioned by a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch outside the Cardinals' complex in Jupiter, Florida, Manfred declined to speculate further about the date, according to a story posted on the MLB.com website.
"We're going to have to see how things develop," the commissioner said. "I think the commitment of the clubs is to play as many baseball games in 2020 as we can, consistent with the safety of our players and our fans."
Spring training sites will remain open with a skeleton crew where players can work out rather than heading to a public gym, but no "organized activities" will be held, Manfred said.
Talks with the Players Association continued Monday afternoon.
"Hopefully we can reach an agreement that will give a lot of people clarity as to how we're going to proceed going forward," Manfred said.
The Dodgers had been scheduled to open the season at home on March 26. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim were set to open the season on the road in Houston on the same day. In San Diego, the Padres were set to open their season March 26 at home against the Colorado Rockies.