MLB owners to present proposal to start season

(Reuters) - Major League Baseball owners will present a proposal to players on Tuesday that will outline plans for the start of the coronavirus-hit 2020 season, a source close to the talks told Reuters on Monday.

Like other major professional sports leagues, MLB’s calendar has been put on hold amid the outbreak and its March 26 Opening Day never materialized.

Team owners on Monday agreed a plan to start playing in empty stadiums in early July, with the owners and players splitting the revenues 50-50, ESPN reported, citing sources.

The players are expected to push back against the revenue splitting proposal and an inability to strike a deal could jeopardize the entire season, ESPN said.

MLB and the Players Association did not respond to a request for comment from Reuters.

According to ESPN, other elements of the plan include a reduced 82-game season, instead of the usual 162 games, an expansion in the number of playoff teams to boost revenues and having teams play rivals located in similar geographical areas to cut down on travel.

The pandemic has upended much of daily life and claimed more than 81,000 lives in the United States.

Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles, editing by Pritha Sarkar