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Pirates: We hope to see fans at spring training

Pittsburgh PiratesWith the World Series done and the baseball industry planning for the 2021 season, spring training is the next major event — and the Pittsburgh Pirates are planning to welcome fans to LECOM Park.

At a time when records are being set across the United States for COVID-19 infections, the thought of prepping for a late-February/March/maybe April spring-training season seems a little insane. But as we’ve been reporting for a few months now, MLB teams are indeed anticipating welcoming fans to spring training, through the exact circumstances — social distancing, restricted seating, no autographs — will be determined closer to the start of games in late February. The Pittsburgh Pirates are making the appropriate plans, according to the Sarsota Herald-Tribune:

While no one can predict what 2021 might bring, the Pirates are planning to resume spring training operations in February and the regular season in Pittsburgh.

“We hope and expect to have a full season starting with spring training,” [Pirates President Travis Williams] said. “At this point, you just don’t know. We have to really rely on what health experts say we should be doing.”

While there is a current spike in COVID-19 infections nationwide, Williams said he remains “hopeful and optimistic” after recent news about potential vaccines and promising treatments.

We have seen plenty of upgrades to spring-training facilities over the last decade, but what the Pirates have done to the former McKechnie Field — adding new player-workout areas, new training fields, installation of a 360-degree concourse and upgraded concessions and seating areas — is pretty impressive.

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