GENEVA – Despite Major League Baseball on track to start its season in July, the minor league baseball season is officially canceled for the season, the league announced Tuesday.
"Major League Baseball has informed Minor League Baseball that it will not be providing its affiliated Minor League teams with players for the 2020 season," the statement reads. "As a result, there will not be a Minor League Baseball season in 2020."
The announcement affects thousands of baseball players, executives and other ballpark personnel across the country, including the Arizona Diamondbacks' Low-A affiliate, the Kane County Cougars, in Geneva.
Updated details regarding ticket sales, refunds and related matters are pending.
In March, the policy was fans would be able to exchange those tickets for a future game later in the 2020 season, but it is not currently clear if that will carry over into the 2021 season.
“It’s a sad day for sure," Cougars general manager Curtis Haug told the Chronicle. "Our staff works really hard year-round, and when this all came to a screeching halt back in March, I don’t think any of us thought that there would be no season."
"We were all thinking [that] at some point, we were going to get back at it," Haug continued. "As time went by, and you got into June…it sort of became a little bit more of a reality that we wouldn’t have a season…to get the final blow, the closure on it today, it’s tough."
The organization was set to celebrate its 30th anniversary season.
"It's a lot of people that work hard and had everything ready and planned for the season," Haug said. "Basically, everything is put off until April of 2021. And, that's a tough thing for the organization; it's a tough thing for our fans."
"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," MiLB President and CEO Pat O'Conner said in a statement.
"While this is a sad day for many, this announcement removes the uncertainty surrounding the 2020 season and allows for our teams to begin planning for an exciting 2021 season of affordable family entertainment."