With Major League Baseball moving the coveted All-Star game out of Atlanta due to the Republican assault on voter rights and enacting voter suppressive tactics, it’s only fitting that The Bronx hosts one of the pastime’s most sought after events after the World Series.
A year ago when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we wrote that The Bronx was particularly vulnerable given how the coronavirus hits harder those with multiple comorbidities and with Bronx residents having some of the worst health outcomes not just in the city and state but in the nation, it was only a matter of time before we got hit.
By mid-April of last year, The Bronx was not only hit hard but it also became the epicenter of the pandemic in New York City and the country. With the highest rates of asthma, diabetes, obesity, and other diseases, residents of The Bronx suffering from these diseases stood a a greater chance of not just contracting the deadly disease but dying from it.
During that time, the borough had the highest infection, death, and hospitalization rates due to COVID-19 and even a year later, The Bronx’s death rate is the highest in the state and among the highest in the nation.
With the ensuing lockdown, the pandemic wreaked havoc on the economy across the country but few places were hit as hard as The Bronx where the unemployment rate soared to over 25%—rates unseen since The Great Depression.
And with baseball all but canceled, businesses around Yankee Stadium were hit doubly hard as pedestrian traffic was at a standstill without the tens of thousands of fans attending home games not to mention the already reduced traffic as a result of the pandemic.
Given that Yankee Stadium is located in the poorest congressional district in America and one of the hardest hit places during the pandemic, it would not only be a symbolic gesture but it would help pump hundreds of millions into the local economy.
This could potentially save many local mom and pop shops in the shadow of the stadium and save hundreds of jobs not to mention fill up our tax coffers.
We already witnessed last week how just under 11,000 fans descending upon Yankee Stadium on opening day helped the local businesses in the area.
No other city is better equipped and ready to host such a game during the pandemic so what is the MLB waiting for? Let’s play ball in The Bronx.