MARION, Ill. (KFVS) - The Southern Illinois Miners announced it suspended the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This follows the Frontier League announcement that the 2020 championship season was also suspended.
COO/Field Manager for the Miners, Mike Pinto, released this statement:
"As disappointed as we are to not have a baseball season in Marion for the first time in 14 years, we also feel for all our players, fans, host families and game-day employees who have called Rent One Park their summer home. We very much wanted to play baseball in 2020, and we had built what we thought would be another outstanding, championship-caliber team. Our dedicated staff of full-time employees had worked hard all off-season to create new memorable experiences for all our fans. Our summer employees were also excited to work with us for another season, and we were committed to providing something for everyone at the ballpark.
"However, protocols provided by the CDC along with strict travel guidelines have shown us it would be impossible to guarantee the safety of players, coaching staffs, umpires, host families, employees and fans during this unprecedented health crisis. We just do not have the capability to put our players in a 'bubble.' Furthermore, our business relies on the gathering of people. Unfortunately, the gathering restrictions, social distancing requirements, and strict travel guidelines from the government make the economics of trying to operate this season an impossible task, and make having a Miners season in 2020 infeasible.
"For our season-ticket holders, sponsors, and group leaders who do business with us, we will be in touch very soon - please bear with us.
"When we fully emerge from the many months of caution, and the Miners can take the field again, the region will need a gathering place more than ever before. We will need a place for kids to play wiffle ball or miniature golf while their parents relax watching our great game, a place for our fans to celebrate Friday night fireworks while enjoying time with their friends and family. We will need a place for our businesses to bring their customers together and reward their employees. Most of all, we will need to gather together as a community.
“We would like to thank our sponsors, season-ticket holders, suite holders, host families, and fans for their continued support, and we look forward to the day when we can safely reopen Rent One Park to our fans, and provide the entertainment and baseball experience that they have grown to enjoy over the past 13 summers.”
If you bought a ticket package for the 2020 season, the Miners said you can get a refund or it will carry over as a credit for the 2021 season.
For those hired to work in 2020, they said you could apply for the 2021 season. The hiring season begins in early March.
As far as Rent One hosting any events this summer, the management said it will continue to evaluate the Illinois reopening guidelines and make decisions as the restrictions allow.