The states decisions to implement voluntary economic shutdowns continues to drive financial collapse of segments in American society. Make no mistake about it, politicians and policymakers knew of the consequences of their actions and still went full steam ahead.
The latest causality will be the existence of MLB’s minor league baseball system. Baseball should be in full swing by now. With no games being played, revenue has dried up. Now through a survey, a dire situation is unfolding right before sports fans eyes.
Following professional baseball’s shutdown in March, minor league clubs now exist in a sort of sports purgatory, 160 affiliates unsure whether they will have games to host and worried about how they will pay employees, settle debts, and potentially return millions of dollars in ticket and advertising revenue to fans and sponsors.
A Sports Illustrated survey of minor league organizations, sent to all teams in late April, shows just how desperate the situation has become. The responses of 68 clubs—in addition to interviews with executives representing 21 of those teams—make clear that the minor leagues are facing a crisis that could destroy professional baseball in cities across the country. At every classification level, in markets ranging from metropolitan cities to rural outposts, front offices are worried about their clubs’ survival, concerned about the viability of rival teams and wondering how the minors will recover from a pandemic that is pummeling an American institution.
Twenty-four teams (or 35% of respondents) said they were seriously concerned that lost revenue from this season would impact their ability to operate next season or in future years, ranking their level of worry at seven out of 10 or higher. Twelve of the clubs—including two of the 16 Triple A teams that replied and five of the 13 from Double A—said they were “extremely concerned” about their ability to continue operating in the future: a 10 out of 10.
Teams were even more bearish about their fellow organizations’ prospects: 48 teams (74% of respondents) thought lost revenue would significantly impact other clubs’ abilities to operate in the future, answering with a seven or higher. Of those teams, 26 put their concern at a 10.
Source: Sports Illustrated