Two summer-collegiate leagues announced their 2020 game plans: the Expedition League is now aiming for a July 1 opening date, while the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League canceled the 2020 campaign.
The Expedition League had announced a delay to the season opener. Yesterday the league owners met and decided to shoot for a July 1 opening date with a slightly lineup: 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 July 1 start date is a goal: a June 3 date was set as a deadline to finalize that aspirational start date.
The announcement from GLSCL was short and sweet: the league’s Board of Directors determined it would be too difficult to operate for 2020 and adequately protect both players and fans.
One issue that is likely to come up as summer-collegiate leagues plan their 2020 seasons: It will be very difficult to operate deep into August, as many colleges are now moving up their fall semester schedules in order to avoid a potential second wave after Thanksgiving. The University of Notre Dame, for instance, will welcome students back to campus for the 2020-21 fall semester the week of Aug. 10, two weeks earlier than originally scheduled, and will forgo fall break in October and end the semester before Thanksgiving.
The Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League joins the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League, New York Collegiate Baseball League, New England Collegiate Baseball League, Cape Cod League and the Valley Baseball League in canceling 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. 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. As we approach Memorial Day weekend, we should see more leagues announce the status of their 2020 seasons.
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: California, New York govs clear way for sports in empty ballparks in June; Another alternative ballpark use during a pandemic: Fore!; Teams find alternative uses for ballparks as entertainment venues; Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League cancels 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; Canceled: Little League World Series, regional championships; WCBL postpones 2020 season opener; Canceled: Midnight Sun Baseball Game; FCBL, TCL, NYCBL delay season start; Cape Cod League cancels 2020 season; American Association delays, scales back 2020 season; Fans prioritize safety when considering return to baseball: study; When baseball returns, will fans return as well?