Major League Baseball plans to have fans in the stands when the National League Championship Series and World Series are played in Arlington, Texas, commissioner Rob Manfred told Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
The plan to have fans at Globe Life Field is pending approval of Texas officials.
"We are pressing ahead to have fans in Texas,'' Manfred told Nightengale on Tuesday. "One of the most important things to our game is the presence of fans. Starting down the path of having fans in stadiums, and in a safe and risk-free environment, is very, very important to our game.''
Under current Texas ordinances, stadiums can be filled to 50 percent capacity, though the report did indicate a target attendance figure. Globe Life Field, the new home of the Rangers, seats about 40,300, but MLB has not permitted fans there this season despite the local law.
The expanded 16-team playoffs will cap off the abbreviated 60-game season that was delayed until July because of the coronavirus pandemic. To limit travel and the exposure to the virus, the National League Division Series will be played in Houston and Arlington; the American League will play the divisional round in Los Angeles and San Diego.
Arlington and San Diego will host the respective league championship series before both leagues converge in Texas for the World Series.
California rules amid the pandemic do not allow for mass gatherings.
Some fans have said the team winning the World Series should have an asterisk by its name to show that 2020 wasn't a standard season. Manfred sees it differently.
"Honestly, I think this World Series championship is going to be special,'' Manfred said. "I think the team that comes through proves they not only prevailed over all clubs, but prevailed over a much bigger challenge in terms of this pandemic.
"It's going to a special in a year we're never going to forget.''
--Field Level Media