BOSTON (CBS) — With wildfires continuing to rage in the Pacific Northwest, the air quality index in certain areas continues to be a significant issue — both for the general public, of course, as well as for professional sporting events.
This matter figures to be of particular concern for the New England Patriots, who are set to travel to Seattle and play against the Seahawks on national television on Sunday night.
Throughout the week, all involved parties express optimism that the weather forecast called for a shift that would improve the air quality in Seattle. But a new development does cast some negativity in that regard.
According to Ken Rosenthal, Major League Baseball will shift this weekend’s series between the Padres and Mariners from Seattle to San Diego.
Mariners’ three-game series against Padres this weekend, scheduled to be played in Seattle, likely will move to San Diego, sources tell The Athletic. Air quality in Seattle remains unhealthy. Teams finalizing details.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) September 17, 2020
That will be the second Mariners series moved, as their two-game set against the Giants was moved to San Francisco.
Of course, the major difference between the baseball series and the football game is that the baseball series was set to begin on Friday and run through Sunday. By the end of the weekend, the air quality may be much improved compared to Friday — at least, that’s the hope.
On Thursday morning, Bill Belichick was asked about his concern level for the air quality in Seattle.
“Yeah, we’re aware of it. We’ve looked into it a little bit,” Belichick said. “I think the forecast that I’ve seen, tracked them over the last couple of days, looks really pretty promising that there’s some wind currents coming in from the Pacific — not that I know anything about wind currents or meteorology or anything here, but this is other people telling me that — but that that’s going to help. Certainly, by the end of the week, sounds like as early as Friday, things could start to clear up a little bit.”
Belichick added: “So, I’d say from our standpoint really we’re going to control the things that we can control. We’ve talked about possibly some things that we might be able to do a little bit differently if necessary. Right now, I don’t really think that it appears that will be necessary, but we’ll monitor that situation and see. So, yeah, thanks for asking about that, but I’d say right now it’s tracking to where we don’t anticipate a major problem, but we’ll be prepared if things change.”
A day earlier, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll was asked by New England reporters about the air quality.
“Yes, of course we are [monitoring the situation],” Carroll said. “We’ve seen a turn in the weather patterns coming for the weekend that should help us out. So we’re tuned into it. You know, it looks like the predictions, if you’re paying attention to the science, the predictions are that it’s going to move out some here, but anything could happen. We have to be ready for something to vary, but we think it’s going to be fine.”