2020 Minor League Baseball season canceled, local teams ‘extremely disappointed’

2020 Minor League Baseball season canceled, local teams ‘extremely disappointed’

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Local teams say they are very disappointed as the 2020 Minor League Baseball season has been canceled.

MiLB says Major League Baseball told them that they will not provide them with players, so there will not be a minor league season.

“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 plated,” MiLB President and CEO Pat O’Conner said. “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 Charlotte Knights says Truist field will remain open this summer.

“This afternoon, the cancellation of the 2020 Minor League season was announced. We are extremely disappointed in this result for all of the fans, partners, and community stakeholders with the Charlotte Knights. The effects of the pandemic have been felt by all who play a part in producing the memorable experiences of Knights baseball games.,” the Knights statement read. “From the players, coaches, and support staff who perform on the field to those that work in the concourses, concession stands, and front office, it takes several hundred people per game to help provide the enjoyable escape during the spring and summer. We ask that our community keep them in mind in the absence of this season. To assist the game day, front office, and non-profit partners of the Knights affected by COVID-19, please consider a contribution to our Knights Care 4 CLT effort.”

The Knights say they will be in contact with season members, suite holders, sponsor partners and group ticket buyers in the upcoming days regarding their investment and options to consider as the team prepares for the 2021 season.

“We truly appreciate your commitment to the Knights and your patience through the earlier uncertainty. We can’t wait to get back together with all of you soon at Truist Field in Uptown Charlotte.” the Knights statement ended.

The Kannapolis Cannon Ballers say they are disappointed with the cancellation but have been preparing for the possibility due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“This is a very disappointing development, but one that we have been preparing for since the COVID numbers have increased in our state over the last few weeks,” said Kannapolis Cannon Ballers General Manager Matt Millward.

“While we won’t have Minor League players this season, we are determined to host baseball games in Kannapolis at Atrium Health Ballpark this year consistent with health and safety guidance,” said team owner Andy Sandler. The team has been in talks with officials of local player leagues at all levels of play to offer them the opportunity to be among the first to play at the brand-new Atrium Health Ballpark. As soon as the team gets the green light from State and City officials that it is safe to host games and events in the Ballpark, they will announce plans for games and events the public can enjoy.”

More information on what the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers front office has organized will be forthcoming and the team says they will follow North Carolina state guidelines and local government expectations.

In the meantime, the team is opening the gates to the public to use Atrium Health Ballpark as a city park and walking facility.

“While it is very disappointing to not have the Cannon Ballers play this season, the health of our fans is our top priority. From the beginning we wanted the ballpark to be a ‘public park’ and used every day. We are glad people are out enjoying it. Seeing so many people using the stadium to walk around, safely meet up with friends, and even grab an affordable sandwich has been gratifying. It’s not exactly what we envisioned but the result – an active, thriving downtown – is the same. We look forward to having smaller scale activities this year and we cannot wait for the Cannon Ballers 2021 season,” said Mayor Darrell Hinnant.

Atrium Health Ballpark is open daily for the public to use from 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. The team serves fresh food from 12-7 p.m. daily from the concession stand on the third base concourse, and offers an expanded menu and drink service on Thursday & Friday starting at 4:00 p.m., and Saturday & Sunday starting at 12:00 p.m.

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