Mariners won't play games in Seattle in March

The Mariners will move home games out of Seattle through the end of March, following the state of Washington's decision to ban large group events as a response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Seattle had been scheduled to open the season at Safeco Field with a four-game series against Texas from March 26-29 then host Minnesota in a three-game series from March 30 through April 1.

The Mariners said they are working with the commissioner's office on alternative plans.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Wednesday announced a ban on all large gatherings in the three counties of the Seattle metro area through at least the end of March.

In their statement, the Mariners said, "While we hope to be back to playing baseball in Seattle as soon as possible, the health and safety of our community is the most important consideration."

The team said it will give credits to season-ticket holders for games missed and will automatically refund single-ticket buyers who purchased tickets through the Mariners.

Other Seattle teams are also affected. The Seattle Sounders of the MLS announced Wednesday that their March 21 match against FC Dallas at CenturyLink Field has been postponed. The XFL's Seattle Dragons will play their game against the LA Wildcats on Sunday at the same field but without fans.

Teams throughout the United States are canceling or moving games. The NBA's Golden State Warriors will play Thursday's home game without fans because of San Francisco's ban on gatherings of more than 1,000 people. That also affects baseball's Giants, who said they won't play a home exhibition game against the Athletics on March 24 and are trying to make alternative plans.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.