With Oregon Gov. Kate Brown shutting down all large gatherings of crowds through September, including sporting events, the Portland Pickles (summer collegiate; West Coast League) announced plans to play games this season without fans at the ballpark.
Here’s the statement from the team in announcing the 2020 season game plan:
We have created an extensive, detailed plan for a safe, fan-free environment for our local collegiate level baseball players to both compete and entertain. We will create an amazing, free broadcast of all our games for the sports fans of Oregon and beyond. Our goal is to bring pride to the community to rally around baseball, but safely from home.
Our goal is to begin play at Walker Stadium on July 2nd and continue though August 9th. We are working with Portland Parks & Recreation, our Mayor, and our Governor to bring this to life.
For our valued season ticket holders, package holders, all group ticket buyers, all tickets will be pushed to the 2021 season. Due to the influx of messages, please email email@example.com if there are any questions regarding tickets or groups. We look forward to announcing, in the coming weeks, our revised schedule and opponents, along with a variety of special promotions.
It’s. pretty bold move to launch a season without fans: yes, there will be some merchandise sales, but summer-collegiate teams make the vast majority of their revenues from gate admissions and concessions.
The Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League, New York Collegiate Baseball League, New England Collegiate Baseball League, Cape Cod League and the Valley Baseball League have all canceled the 2020 season. The Expedition League, Western Canadian Baseball League, Prospect League, Coastal Plain League, Northwoods League, Futures Collegiate Baseball League and the Texas Collegiate League have announced delays to the 2020 summer-collegiate season.
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, while the Bellingham Bells will not participate in the 2020 West Coast League season. 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.
With daily news about the spread of the coronavirus impacting the sports-business and facilities industries, it’s more important than ever to stay up with the latest news in the venues industry. That’s why we launched a Venues Digest newsletter focusing on coronavirus information across the ballparks, arenas, stadiums, theater and performing-arts worlds. For now it will appear daily, and for now it will be free of charge to industry professionals. Sign up here.
RELATED STORIES: Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League cancels 2020 season; Northwoods League: Despite delays, we plan on 2020 season; Katz: Don’t assume Goldeyes baseball this summer; NYCBL cancels 2020 season; MINK League and Florida League update plans; Canceled: 2020 New England Collegiate Baseball League season; Expedition League postpones late-May season opening; MiLB teams warn of dire consequences due to state restrictions; Yet another plan emerges for 2020 MLB season start: teams train at home; Canceled: Little League World Series, regional championships; WCBL postpones 2020 season opener; Canceled: Midnight Sun Baseball Game; FCBL, TCL, NYCBL delay season start; 2020 MLB season plans still in flux; Cape Cod League cancels 2020 season; American Association delays, scales back 2020 season; 2019 Homer Hankies repurposed as cotton face masks; Gov: MLB could begin season in Arizona–when time is right; Arizona, Florida, Japan? 2020 MLB season scenarios abound; Fans prioritize safety when considering return to baseball: study; MLB 2020 season blueprint evolves, with Florida now in mix; Trump: Pro sports could resume in August, September; With season delay, MLB teams feeling the pinch; When baseball returns, will fans return as well?; MiLB teams expand offerings, launch charitable efforts