SALEM, Va. – Minor League Baseball announced on Tuesday the 2020 season is canceled due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.
MiLB officials originally announced on March 12 that the start to the 2020 season was delayed. However the choice to cancel the season altogether came as the pandemic continued.
“While we are saddened to see the official cancellation of the season, our most important focus remains the health and safety of our fans, staff, and community,” said Allen Lawrence, Salem Red Sox general manager.
Officials with the Salem Red Sox, Lynchburg Hillcats and Danville Braves said they are developing plans for refund options for current ticket holders. They said ticket representatives will be in touch with all account holders in the coming weeks to provide details.
With the season canceled, officials with the Salem Red Sox said they’ll shift the focus to hosting public and private events at Salem Memorial Ballpark for the rest of this year. The Lynchburg Hillcats announced they will also be hosting more outdoor events at the Bank of the James stadium.
Lawrence said nothing replaces a night at the ball park though.
“I mean it’s tough, you know a Friday night with Star Wars here and with fireworks post game, I mean that’s pretty good revenue and it takes a lot of these extra events to make up for a night like that,” Lawrence said.
The cancellation is also a blow to the City of Salem, which will lose out on steady sales and meals tax revenues, and area businesses who won’t get to serve fans, players and visiting teams.