Interestingly, none of the four states hosting the majority of Expedition League teams–North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Wyoming–are under stay-at-home rules. But there are state prohibitions on crowd sizes, with other social distancing measures in place, leading to the decision to postpone the season. No word on when the 2020 Expedition League season may start.
“Even though we won’t be able to start our 2020 season on May 26th, we’re confident that we will be able to serve our communities with outstanding baseball and incredible, fun, family entertainment sometime this summer. One of the key tenets of the Expedition League’s mission statement has always been to be vital, contributing members of our communities. We will be there for our amazing fans again this season, and as our teams return to action, we will be an important part of the healing process in each community during these difficult times,” said Steve Wagner, Expedition League President. “We have formulated multiple contingency schedules for this season and all of our front office staffs are working hard to put on a great show when we are able to start our season this year. The safety of our fans, players, employees, interns and umpires is vitally important to us as we work together with our States and Cities.”
There will be one casualty to the 2020 Expedition League lineup: because of travel restrictions into and out of Canada and limits placed on the size of gatherings into the summer by the Province of Manitoba, the Wheat City Whiskey Jacks will not be able to play their 2020 home season in Brandon, Manitoba. As a result, the Whiskey Jacks will play their 2020 home season in North Dakota.
The Expedition League joins the Western Canadian Baseball League, Prospect League, Coastal Plain League, Northwoods League, Futures Collegiate Baseball League, Texas Collegiate League and the New York Collegiate Baseball League in announcing delays to the 2020 summer-collegiate season.
The Cape Cod League and the Valley Baseball League have already called the season, while individual teams are also facing issues: the Duluth Huskies (Northwoods League) and the Lafayette Aviators (Prospect League) can’t play home games before July 1, the Bellingham Bells will not participate in the 2020 West Coast League season, and the Northwoods League announced a delay to the start of the 2020 season due to state shutdowns ordered as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. All in all, summer-collegiate leagues across the board are grappling with the potential of shortened seasons, extended seasons into the fall and teams facing serious revenue shortfalls.
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