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Columbia Business Monthly

Minor League Baseball Season Canceled

Jun 30, 2020 03:50PM ● By David Dykes

By David Dykes

Minor League Baseball canceled its 2020 season amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, league officials said Tuesday, June 30, 2020.

Major League Baseball officials informed Minor League Baseball they wouldn't provide affiliated Minor League teams with players for the 2020 season. As a result, there will not be a Minor League Baseball season in 2020, officials said.

"These are unprecedented times for our country and our organization as this is the first time in our history that we've had a summer without Minor League Baseball played," said Minor League Baseball President and CEO Pat O'Conner. "While this is a sad day for many, this announcement removes the uncertainty surrounding the 2020 season and allows our teams to begin planning for an exciting 2021 season of affordable family entertainment."

"The Greenville Drive are devastated by today's unprecedented announcement," said Drive Owner and President Craig Brown. "Our staff has been hard at work for many months preparing for the Drive's 15th Anniversary Season in downtown Greenville at Fluor Field. In partnership with leading business and community partners, we had several significant new events planned that would have been highly complementary to our popular and much anticipated annual events such as our Reading All-Stars Celebrations, Healthcare Career Night, Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering Night, Green Day, Drive Business Downtown and many more."

The action also means there will be no minor league baseball for the Columbia Fireflies or the Charleston RiverDogs this season.

On March 12th, Minor League Baseball - in conjunction with health officials - had announced a delay to the start of the 2020 season. 

While the Drive had continued to prepare for a rescheduled opening night, including revising and updating health and safety protocols, the complexity of the issues created by the Covid-19 virus were simply too great to overcome for minor league baseball to have its 2020 season, Drive officials said.

Said Brown: "I'm very disappointed for our fans and the entire community as the summer will not be the same in downtown Greenville without Drive baseball to enjoy. And I'm also disappointed that the dedication and hard work put in by our staff will now have to wait until 2021 to see its full impact. Nonetheless and despite this devasting news which impacts us on so many levels you can be sure that the Drive will remain as committed as ever investing in the economic health and vitality of our region and insuring the Upstate remains a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family."

With the cancellation of the baseball season, the organization's focus will pivot to hosting public and private events at Fluor Field this summer, fall and winter, Drive officials said. 

The Drive and its West End events team have taken the "Greater Greenville Pledge" and are continuing to implement best-practices for cleanliness and sanitization of the park, including continuing to add health and safety measures that will provide all Fluor Field visitors with the safest and healthiest experience possible, the officials said.|

"Initial events are likely to be small and intimate, but as we ultimately rebound from the pandemic, with Fluor Field setup as our community's ideal social distancing venue, it is our hope that our community will eagerly return home to Greenville's Front Porch," Brown said. "There is nothing we want more than to see smiling faces once again at the ballpark."


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