“MLB Offers Test Case for Leagues Handling Virus Outbreak”—Joseph M. Hanna in Law360
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“MLB Offers Test Case for Leagues Handling Virus Outbreak”—Joseph M. Hanna in Law360

July 31, 2020

Goldberg Segalla partner Joseph M. Hanna, chair of the firm’s Sports and Entertainment practice, spoke with Law360 about the MLB’s handling of a return to play despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic—including a recent outbreak of the virus among the Miami Marlins.

“There are many stakeholders watching the Marlins’ outbreak developments closely, especially when you consider that certain teams are making significant financial investments to return to play and record-setting viewership that evidences just how much fans have missed America’s favorite pastime,” Joe said.

Joe drew on his experience advising major league sports teams, entertainment companies, and large retail and hospitality brands on COVID-19 liability risks and best practices for ensuring safety for employees, patrons, and other groups.

“Leagues need to remain agile to stay ahead of the coronavirus and to keep the athletes, coaches and essential staff safe,” he told Law360. “That remains the highest priority for the continuation of the professional leagues’ return to play.”

“It’s likely too late for the MLB to make the change to a bubble environment, but reinforcing and modifying the current protocols will likely decrease the chance of another teamwide outbreak,” he said. “How the MLB reacts to the [current] outbreak will be illustrative of whether a return to play outside of a bubble environment is feasible and functional for an entire season.”

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