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The Springfield Cardinals' 2020 season at Hammons Field has been canceled amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
SBJ file photo
The Springfield Cardinals' 2020 season at Hammons Field has been canceled amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Springfield Cardinals: Canceled season is 'daunting'

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The Springfield Cardinals responded to the cancellation of the 2020 Minor League Baseball season, calling "the financial ramifications ... very real and daunting."

MiLB President and CEO Pat O'Connor pointed to "unprecedented times for our country" amid the COVID-19 pandemic in the announcement made yesterday via Twitter.

At Hammons Field in Springfield, the Double-A Affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals will be offering options for season ticket holders and discussing next steps with sponsors, suite holders and others, according to a Facebook post.

"We understand that our fans are disappointed and saddened by this news. We feel all of that emotion with you," the post reads. "Similar to so many Minor League teams across the country, this is going to be the most challenging time our organization has ever faced."

This year's canceled season comes after the team in 2019 faced attendance worries after parking fees were hiked at nearby lots owned by New York-based JD Holdings LLC. However, the Cardinals reached shuttle and parking deals with J. Howard Fisk Limousines Inc. and Ozarks Technical Community College, respectively, that brought fan attendance up through the end of the season.

The team's 2019 season ended with 328,217 fans, up from 326,362 in 2018 but down from 331,269 in 2017, according to data on the Double-A Texas League's website.

Last month, the St. Louis Cardinals announced it selected Hammons Field for its so-called taxi squad. The squad consists of players who are not on a team’s active roster but continue to train so they can be called up as needed.

It remains unclear whether fans will be able to attend taxi squad play in Springfield.

The latest post from the Springfield Cardinals indicated the team is awaiting further information on the taxi squad.

"We are learning details from Major League Baseball and will follow all safety and health protocols that Major League Baseball requires," the post reads. "We will communicate further with our fans once we have more information."

MLB team owners and the MLB Players Association last month agreed to an abbreviated season scheduled to start this month.

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