Major League Baseball has presented a proposal for teams to return to the field as soon as July 4 weekend for an 82-game season. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred reportedly held a conference call with 30 team owners to outline the plan, which was approved, ESPN reports. MLB and the MLB Players Association are set to convene on Tuesday to negotiate the logistics of launching the season amid the coronavirus pandemic. The league is proposing teams split revenues 50-50 with players, which was prompted by financial concerns, according to ESPN. Sports leagues have been especially hard hit by the pandemic, forcing canceled games and postponed seasons—and the loss of revenue from ticket sales as well as television contracts is set to be particularly damaging.
“Bear with me, but it feels like we’ve zoomed past the most important aspect of any M.L.B. restart plan: health protections for players, families, staff, stadium workers and the workforce it would require to resume a season,” Washington Nationals closer Sean Doolittle wrote on Twitter. The proposal also includes an expansion of the playoff field from 10 teams to 14, access to home stadiums in areas that states have approved to reopen, as well as 50 players on the roster per team.