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World Series to be played at Rangers' Globe Life Field as part of MLB’s modified bubble planThis article has
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The World Series will start in Arlington on Oct. 20, and fans may be allowed to attend.

ARLINGTON — A decade ago, the Rangers envisioned a future in which Ron Washington, Yu Darvish and Jurickson Profar competed late into October in dramatic postseason games in Arlington.

Turns out they could be half right.

All of them could end up in Arlington this fall; just none with the Rangers. Major League Baseball made official Tuesday a plan to move the postseason into a modified bubble format in which much of the National League Playoffs and all of the World Series will be played at brand new Globe Life Field in Arlington.

The World Series will run from Oct. 20 to as late as Oct. 28. MLB is pursuing plans to allow a limited number of fans into the stadium for the NL Championship Series and the World Series.

After the wild card best-of-3 rounds, all at the homes of the higher seeds, the playoffs will move into a hub format with Arlington and Houston’s Minute Maid Park playing host to the NL playoffs, while Southern California hosts the AL.

The NL Division Series in Arlington, which begins Oct. 6, will feature the winner of the No. 1 vs. No. 8 seed against the winner of the No. 4 vs. No. 5 matchup. The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego, currently engaged in a battle for the NL West, are likely to end up splitting the No. 1 and 4 seeds. The NL Championship Series begins Oct. 12.

MLB's 2020 playoff bracket.
MLB's 2020 playoff bracket.(Major League Baseball)

And some fans might be able to attend. Commissioner Rob Manfred said Monday night in an online forum hosted by Hofstra University that he would like to see limited fans at both the League Championship Series and the World Series. Now that the sites have been finalized, MLB will dig deeper into the feasibility of fans.

“We’ve gotten really great support from the local government and from the state of Texas and Governor Abbott just encouraging us to come in and host our event there,” MLB Chief Operations and Strategy Officer Chris Marinak said Tuesday. “When we’re looking for all the different places that we can to hold an event like this, having the local municipality on board and encouraging us to put the event together there is a big factor in helping drive it together.”

The Rangers have hosted crowds of up to 5,000 for high school graduations since May. The stadium seats 40,000 fans. So, the possibility for increasing capacity while maintaining social distancing does exist. Rangers and MLB officials on Tuesday declined to discuss a target figure for capacity.

Rangers officials have met with their Cowboys counterparts about the NFL team’s plan for Sunday’s home opener at AT&T Stadium. The Cowboys are allowing a limited number of fans but have not publicly divulged the number.

“Hopefully we’ll land on a consensus here soon that will allow us to bring fans in for at least some rounds of the postseason,” said Rob Matwick, the Rangers Executive Vice President for Business Operations. “On the local level, we have had great cooperation. We felt like we were pretty much in line with what the thinking was at AT&T Stadium, which I think is beneficial to all of us. We’ll see how it goes this weekend for the Cowboys game. We’ll learn from that and move forward.”

Over the three weeks of playoffs, the new retractable roof stadium could play host to the Atlanta Braves, featuring former Rangers manager Washington coaching third, the Chicago Cubs, featuring pitcher Darvish, and the Padres, featuring the game’s hottest star, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Profar.

Washington managed the Rangers to back-to-back World Series appearances in 2010-11. The club added Darvish and top prospect Profar for 2012. The team has not won a playoff series since. Washington resigned near the end of the 2014 season and has since taken a coaching job with Atlanta. Darvish was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers at the trade deadline in 2017 and then signed a six-year, $126 million deal with Cubs. He is a leading candidate for the NL Cy Young Award. Profar was traded after the 2018 season.

In addition, the playoffs could feature the Dodgers' twin North Texas pitching titans: Highland Park’s Clayton Kershaw and Justin Northwest’s Dustin May.

The Rangers? They will be gracious hosts.

The playoffs do not come with a financial windfall. Tickets for the postseason are controlled by MLB and gate revenues are added to the playoff pool split between owners and players. Instead, the Rangers may receive some parking and concession revenues. They also will be able to bring back some seasonal employees. MLB will reimburse the Rangers for any costs the team incurs, but that’s about it.

The benefits may be more long range. The Rangers would like to host some of baseball’s jewel events such as the All-Star Game and the World Baseball Classic.

“This is a good dry run for a lot of other opportunities really at the MLB level as mentioned,” said Marinak, the MLB official. “I think this gives them a chance to get to demonstrate and showcase what the facility can do. And my guess [is] everything we’ve seen from this, this ballpark is that it’s just, it’s really an amazing facility.”

And this fall some people might even get to see some old friends inside of it.

Find Rangers stories from The Dallas Morning News here.

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Evan Grant, Rangers beat writer/insider. Evan has covered the Rangers since 1997. He has twice been named one of the top 10 beat writers in the country by the AP Sports Editors. His passions outside of covering baseball are his wife, Gina, his two step kids, two crazy dogs & barbecue. Let's not discuss the cat. Evan graduated from Georgia State University, but oddly is a Georgia fan.

egrant@dallasnews.com @Evan_P_Grant

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