Nine KBO teams have now closed stadiums to fans
In response to a nationwide spike in coronavirus cases, three more baseball clubs announced Tuesday they'll join six others playing home games without fans.
On Tuesday, the Hanwha Eagles, the NC Dinos and the Samsung Lions said they'll play upcoming home games behind closed doors.
The Eagles are based in Daejeon while the Dinos are in Changwon, South Gyeongsang, and the Lions are in Daegu.
Seoul and surrounding Gyeonggi were placed under stricter social distancing guidelines Saturday, joined the following day by Busan, the country's second-largest city. Five KBO clubs in those areas — the Doosan Bears, LG Twins and Kiwoom Heroes in Seoul, KT Wiz in Suwon, Gyeonggi, and Lotte Giants in Busan — will play in empty stadiums until further notice.
And on Sunday, the SK Wyverns decided to close their home park in Incheon for their six-game homestand this week.
Daejeon, Changwon and Daegu aren't subject to stricter measures being implemented in the capital region, but the the three teams there took a pre-emptive step in trying to prevent further spread.
The Eagles said the metropolitan government of Daejeon asked for the club's support in strengthening prevention and control measures for Covid-19.
The Dinos had fans in the stands for Tuesday's game against the Heroes, but kept cheerleaders off stage. Changwon NC Park will be closed for Wednesday's game.
The Dinos said their action was in response to the neighboring city of Busan being placed under tougher social distancing guidelines.
The Lions also played Tuesday's game with fans in the seats at Daegu Samsung Lions Park, but left stands empty from Wednesday.
Tuesday's development leaves the Kia Tigers, based in Gwangju, as the lone KBO club not to have closed doors to fans. The Tigers played in Seoul Tuesday and Wednesday, and have a two-game series against the Dinos at home on Thursday and Friday.
The KBO season began on May 5, rather than the originally scheduled March 28, because of the Covid-19 outbreak, and teams didn't have fans in the seats until July 26 — and then only at 10 percent capacity.
Starting last week, the cap on crowd size was raised to 25 percent. It barely lasted a week, though, as the nation braces itself for a new wave of infections.
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