Jun 19, 2020 - Health

Phillies close Florida spring training facility after 5 players test positive for coronavirus

The Phillies training facility.

Spectrum Field, the spring training home of the Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater, Fla. Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Phillies announced Friday that the team would indefinitely close its Clearwater, Florida, spring training facility after five players and three staff members tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: The news, first reported by NBC Sports Philadelphia, illustrates just how challenging it will be to bring sports leagues back as some states — including Florida, the planned home for the NBA, MLS and WNBA — have seen a surge in new cases.

  • 20 players and 12 staff members are still in the process of being tested. Eight staffers tested negative.
  • The team had begun spring training in Florida when the MLB postponed the start of its season earlier this year due to the pandemic. Some players have been allowed to return to the facility over the last few weeks.

The big picture: MLB and its players' union remain locked in negotiations over how to restart the season — jeopardizing the league's return this year.

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