The Baltimore Orioles and the Chicago White Sox are playing at Camden Yards today — without any fans at the stadium. According to Mail Online, this is the first time in baseball history that a major league baseball game has been closed to fans. The decision to play the game without fans filling the 45,000 seats was made for security reasons, due to the ongoing riots in the area.
After postponing Monday and Tuesday night’s games (they will be played as a double-header on May 28), officials decided to play the scheduled Wednesday game, but to push it ahead a few hours to 2:05 p.m. because of the 10 p.m. curfew put into effect by the mayor. It was also decided that the entrances to the park would remain closed, and the National Guard has been used to ensure that people respect that decision.
Security in the area is still high after violent protests broke out following the funeral of Freddie Gray. To ensure the safety of fans, and to give the city some time to clean up debris, this was the best option.
Photos from the Baltimore Orioles vs. Chicago White Sox game are almost eerie to look at. Seeing a ball park or stadium completely empty (save for the players and the media) is quite strange, and you can probably imagine how odd it is for the players, none of whom are being cheered on today.
According to Yahoo! Sports, Patricia Haskins, a 59-year-old Baltimore native and box office employee, said it best. The ballpark felt like a “ghost town.”
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, another option was for the Orioles to host the White Sox at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., as the Nationals are on the road. However, it seems as though an ongoing legal battle between the teams in regard to revenue generated by the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network may have prohibited the teams from working something out.
However, things seem to be working out.
“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 Orioles manager Buck Showalter.
Perhaps playing in an empty ballpark is good luck for the O’s. They are beating the White Sox 8-2 in the eighth inning.
[Photos by Patrick Smith & Greg Flume/Getty Images]