GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) This year's Minor League Baseball season will not happen amid ongoing coronavirus concerns, officials announced Tuesday.
The Greenville Drive, in conjunction with Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball and the South Atlantic League made the announcement.
They say the concern for the safety of the Greenville community, and all Minor League Baseball communities throughout America influence their decision.
In March, Minor League officials announced a delay to the start of the 2020 season. The Greenville Drive says that though they continued to make preparations for a rescheduled Opening Night, the complexity of the issues created by the pandemic were "simply too great to overcome" for the league to have a 2020 season.
“The Greenville Drive are devastated by today’s unprecedented announcement,” stated 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.”
Brown says he's sad for Drive fans and the community as the summer won't be the same without baseball at Fluor Field.
"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," he continued. "Nonetheless and despite this devastating 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.”
The organization will now put all of its focus on hosting public and private events at Fluor Field throughout the summer, fall and winter.
Brown says that the initial events will 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. There is nothing we want more than to see smiling faces once again at the ballpark.”
The Drive and its West End Events team have taken the Greater Greenville Pledge and will continue to implement safe protocols, like cleanliness of the park, as well as continue to add health and safety measures.
“Since 2006, Fluor Field at the West End has become the ‘Front Porch of the Community’. We were extremely excited to celebrate our 15th Anniversary Season in 2020," said Drive General Manager, Eric Jarinko. "While we are disappointed that we’ll all have to wait until 2021 to officially celebrate this milestone season, the most important consideration is the safety and well-being of our fans.”