Following days of well-sourced speculation, the Texas Rangers and Major League Baseball have announced that Globe Life Field in Arlington will host the 2020 World Series, as well as multiple playoff series, including the National League Championship Series.
This will be the first neutral-site World Series in MLB history.
The Rangers' ballpark, which opened earlier this year, will also host a National League division series. Sixteen teams total — eight from the American League and eight from National League — will make the expanded playoffs in 2020, with all teams competing in best-of-three wild card series at the four highest seeds' home ballparks before play shifts to four other stadiums.
Other ballparks hosting division series include Minute Maid Park in Houston, Petco Park in San Diego, and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Petco Park will also host the American League Championship Series.
One of the likely reasons Globe Life Field was chosen for such a high-profile role in the playoffs is because of the adjacent Live! by Loews hotel, allowing MLB to maintain a bubble for the teams and their families during the series.
According to the Associated Press, a memo from MLB deputy commissioner Dan Halem to teams bears that out.
"In the view of our infectious disease experts, the biggest risk of exposure for players and staff is contact with family members and friends who have been exposed to COVID-19 in their communities,” Halem wrote. “Nearly all of the positive test results that have been reported for players and staff in the last month can be traced back to contact with an infected family member, domestic partner, or friend outside of club facilities.”
Only spouses, domestic partners, children, and childcare providers can stay with players during a period of transition to the playoff venue hotels in late September, AP reports. The World Series is scheduled to begin October 20.
The Rangers, who are currently in last place in the AL West with a 17-30 record, are not expected to be among the eight teams on the American League side.