With Thanksgiving in the rear-view mirror and final decisions on hand for MiLB, teams to begin planning for what will be a challenging 2021 season. Here’s how Eric Edelstein, Reno Aces (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) president, is approaching the task.
Edelstein, like many other leaders in MiLB, dealt with a lost 2020 after the season was shut down due to COVID-19 and the whole industry in a state of uncertainty due to the MLB reorganization of the sport. That state of uncertainty still exists–even teams assured of continued operations like the Aces don’t have schedules and opponents–but with some level of resolution expected this week and perhaps next, moving forward is a must. The 2021 season will certainly be a challenge as well; teams are six months away from any meaningful revenue.
For Edelstein, the challenge was doubled in 2020 running Reno 1868 FC in dramatically downsized circumstances, with owner Herb Simon finally making the decision to fold the USL Championship team earlier this month.
In an interview from the Nevada Appeal, Edelstein outlined the challenges for him and his staff–challenges that every MiLB team will face:
A lot of businesses have been affected by the pandemic. The reality is that we need the health and safety of our community to be well. Whether that’s the vaccine, whether that’s therapeutics, we need to get to a point where this disease that we’re living with doesn’t threaten lives, and only at that point can our business even begin to sort of come out of it. And I think at that point, it will return fiercely, because I think we’re all missing those simple pleasures that were taken away from us this year. But, the bottom line is the health and safety of the community. When it’s right, we’ll be right….
And we’re looking at making sure that our digital footprint is correct, that it’s easy for fans to buy tickets, it’s easy for fans to get information about us. So, we’re really evaluating all throughout the business, are we the most efficient we can be?
And so, sort of getting our house in order is the main objective, while also communicating with our community leaders, our sponsors, our season ticket holders, to make sure that we know that they’re there. We still love them and we can’t wait to bring them back as soon as we safely can.