Shortened 2020 season would be financially 'devastating' for Regina Red Sox
REGINA -- In 2019 the Regina Red Sox made it all the way to the Western Canadian Baseball League (WCBL) Championship finals, but in 2020, there’s a chance they won’t even make it out of the dugout.
“I’d love to say we’re going to play July, but in all likely hood it’s not going to happen,” says Red Sox President Gary Brotzel.
In a press release sent out April 30, the WCBL says it’s decided to “delay the start of the 2020 season until late June or early July.” However for that to happen, the government needs to come in as a pinch hitter.
“What we would need is first for the border to open, and then get the go ahead from the government on large gatherings,” says Brotzel.
However, a shortened season could actually pose more problems than answers for the Red Sox financially.
“We don’t know if people will be comfortable to come out and watch. From our standpoint I don’t think we could take a hit of having a drop in attendance of 50%, I think it would be quite devastating to us financially,” add Brotzel.
Two of the baseball team’s major fundraising events, including a Spring Dinner featuring MLB pitcher Jason Grilli, were cancelled.
In the past, these fundraising efforts have raised $80,000 for the Red Sox. If the WCBL league resumed, the Red Sox would already be starting at a deficit, putting future seasons in jeopardy.
“I ran some of the numbers and there’s definitely a risk of starting next season with a sizeable deficit, which we’ve never done in the history of our team” says Brotzel.
23 players on the Red Sox 30 player roster are from the United States, meaning they’ll be required to billet. This adds another uncertainty to an already challenging situation, if billets are hesitant to have foreigners live with them.
According to Brotzel, missing a season might be in everyone’s best interest.
“I’m kinda torn, I know there’s a lot of people out there that would love to see some baseball, selfishly from a financial point of view it’s probably better if we don’t play.”
The Red Sox held a Board meeting on Monday night, but held off on making any major decisions. They’ll wait to hear from the WCBL, who will be meeting to decide the fate of the season, at the end of May.