Coronavirus forces Minor League Baseball to cancel 2020 season
MLB will have 2020 season
The Major League Baseball Players Association agreed to a 60-game season with a July 24 opening day.
Minor League Baseball officially canceled its 2020 season Tuesday after Major League Baseball declined to provide its affiliate organizations with players during the coronavirus pandemic.
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The decision was announced after a meeting of Minor League Baseball’s board of trustees. Baseball’s minor leagues halted play in the spring after the worsening pandemic made games a public health risk.
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"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."
Unlike MLB, the minor leagues lack lucrative media rights deals that could support a return to play without fans at stadiums. Most minor league teams are reliant on ticket sales, local sponsorships and MLB subsidies to operate.
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MLB is allowing its teams to retain an expanded pool of 60 players each for the upcoming season restart. A total of 30 players can be active when play begins in late July.
The agreement between MLB and the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, the governing body of minor league baseball, expires after the 2020 season.
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MLB has faced widespread opposition over its plan to reduce the number of minor league affiliates in a future deal. League executives have argued their plan would include investments in the minor league teams that remain in the form of enhanced facilities, improved pay for players and a geographic restructuring that would reduce the amount of travel per season.
MLB finalized plans for a shortened 60-game season earlier this month. Players will report to training camp July 1.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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