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As MLB tries to save 2020, minor-league teams across the country might be out at home

Jeff Wilson, Fort Worth Star-Telegram on

Published in Baseball

"There have been no agreements on contraction or any other issues," MiLB said in a statement last month. "MiLB looks forward to continuing the good faith negotiations with MLB tomorrow as we work toward an agreement that best ensures the future of professional baseball throughout the United States and Canada."

While there was buzz around the topic last month, generated by a Baseball America report, Greenberg is in the dark on this aspect as well. Baseball America said Wednesday that MLB will likely give MiLB a list of the 120 franchise it wants to remain as affiliates.

Unfortunately, the coronavirus might take care of some of the issue on its own. "It's hard to know how things will go given the virus," Greenberg said.

The RoughRiders have led all of Double A baseball in attendance the past 15 seasons. They drew 455,765 fans in 2019, and their top-10 all-time single-game crowds have come since the Greenberg Sports Group's first full season as owners in 2015.

Greenberg, who also has the High A Myrtle Beach Pelicans in his portfolio, said that all 38 full-time Frisco employees are still receiving paychecks. Even though the expectation is the minor-league season will be canceled, Frisco is still preparing for a season.

Greenberg said Frisco received government assistance that was good for two months' worth of payroll. While grateful to have it, the funds were only a Band-Aid over a much larger financial scar because Frisco is a seasonal business.

 

Frisco has also started booking events at Dr Pepper Ballpark, which is owned by the city, to at least generate some revenue.

The RoughRiders are hosting a 5K run, The Home Run, which participants will run at home. (Proceeds will help support the North Texas Food Bank.) And Frisco merchandise can be had at discount prices.

"I'm proud of the fact that far we haven't laid anybody off, we haven't cut anybody's wages, and we're doing the best we can to be productive as a unit," Greenberg said. "But it becomes increasingly challenging and there's increasingly little that can be accomplished.

"So, right now we're in wait-and-see mode about whether we're going to play, and we're looking at every means possible of utilizing the ballpark for other events to create some active revenue streams but also as a community asset."

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