MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The MLB is scheduled to make a return to play proposal soon. Until then, Triple-A affiliates like the Memphis Redbirds have to wait.
“I think their first priority is to get the Cardinals back on the field and then we’ll see what happens after that," Redbirds President Craig Unger said.
Unlike Major League Baseball, minor league teams don’t have big TV deals. The Redbirds rely on ticket sales and fans in attendance.
“The challenge for us is sort of navigating, with our partnership with the City of Memphis and health department that we’ve been in contact with too, is how to create this as a safe space for the people. If and when we get the green light to open," Unger said. “We know that’s some time away, but we’ve started some of those conversations and some of that planning now.”
According to Unger, that doesn’t mean there’s a path yet. The plans change daily, but time is on their side.
“We’ve got nice weather here. Baseball is talking about playing into October or November. We don’t know how that may play into what we do here too.”
According to Unger, it’s too early to tell just how big of an impact this shut down will have on the Redbirds. But, it could have a major effect on some smaller minor league teams
“Baseball will be back here in Memphis, no matter what" he assured. “But I think that when you look around the minor leagues, what could be a prolonged shutdown could have an effect on a lot of teams. We’re in the live event business. I don’t think it’s any different than a local restaurant, or any other local attraction that’s based on getting people to come in."
Unger was in his officer at AutoZone Park for the first time in a while. He said when he looked out the window he noticed the field was in great shape. The grounds keeping crew has been maintaining it every day. Unger said it’s ready to go when it is safe for everyone to enjoy it.