JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Major League Baseball is coming back, but what about the minor leagues, and more importantly, the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp?
When Major League Baseball returns in late July with a 60-game schedule, it will put baseball back on TV for fans. But minor league parks across America will likely still be empty.
That includes the Jumbo Shrimp’s 121 Financial Ballpark, which has seen a variety of events held on its grounds during the COVID-19 pandemic, just not baseball games.
“I wish I could do an interview and say if we were going to play or not,” said Jumbo Shrimp general manager Harold Craw.
While the expectation is that the minor league season will be canceled, no official announcement has come down yet. And so the Jumbo Shrimp continue to wait.
All Jumbo Shrimp games have been canceled through July 10.
Even without baseball, the Jumbo Shrimp have come up with creative events to bring fans to the ballpark. They’ve held a Father’s Day event, allowed fans to take hacks in the batter’s box and held family movie night. They’ve got a Bingo Night scheduled and will have an interactive cooking class on YouTube. On Wednesday, they announced that they will have a movie and fireworks event to celebrate the Fourth of July.
The team will host fireworks on July 3.
“We are excited about July 3rd. It is kind of a thing, it was a thing before we got here and we were lucky enough to build on it,” Craw said.
While the Jumbo Shrimp have held events that have allowed fans in the facility and on the baseball field, the event on July 3 will be the team’s first event with people in the stands this year.
“It has taken a little bit of a different approach in getting people into and exiting the stadium. It has been no small chore to get everything set up so people will feel comfortable in the stadium,” Craw said.