Eau Claire Express cancel 2020 baseball season
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Baseball is a summer staple here in Eau Claire. Which means these next few months will be nothing of the ordinary now that the Eau Claire Express Northwoods League team has announced they will not play this season.
Jeff Pippenger, Director of Community Services told WEAU,
“It’s really in the fabric of the community; we’ve had a lot of state champions come out of here, and having summer without baseball, it’s going to be hard for people.”
Hard for fans, and even harder for the Express organization, although they may not know how much until next year, the Express is embracing to face financial repercussions for a lost summer at the gate.
Bill Rowlett, the owner of Express said,
“We know where we were at with regards to season ticket sales, five game packs, and stadium advertising and fan deck parties, a lot of businesses partner with us.”
And beyond just the Express, many local restaurants and hotels will continue to feel the hit from COVID-19.
“Certainly there is an economic impact to the community, Express baseball brings in a large group every year, and they play 36 home games here,” said Pippenger.
As difficult as it was to cancel baseball at Carson Park this summer, the Express say that safety was their top priority
“Trying to play the game while also having the physical distancing, you can’t adjust the game of baseball that much,” added Pippenger.
“The organization has the best interests of everybody at hand. We’re concerned certainly about the safety of our players but more so our fans,” said Rowlett.
Baseball fan, Noah Meffert told WEAU,
“As a fan its super disappointing, but these times are challenging for everyone, we have to realize there are some things that are bigger than baseball.”
Most involved in the decision say that this announcement was inevitable, and as unfortunate as it is, they look forward to reuniting with the team and community in 2021.
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