FORT MYERS, Fla. — Major League Baseball pushed the opening season game back 2 weeks, and canceled spring training indefinitely due to the Coronavirus outbreak, leaving not only fans but local officials wondering what is next.
Commissioner Robert D. Manfred made the sudden call to suspend games, leaving many people shocked and worried how the economy will be impacted.
“We’re just sports loyalist, and this country doesn’t end with sports but, it’s something that is going to hurt the community, and going to hurt the surrounding businesses through March here for sure” said Bob Faherty.
Charlotte County officials agree saying, they are preparing to help businesses who might see a negative impact during this time.
“Going forward we follow the guidelines that are sent to us by our government entities. So right now we are business as usual until we are told otherwise. It’s unfortunate for the businesses that rely on those games for the little boost in their business, so we are going to do everything we can to help them out through all of this as well”, said Teri Ashley, Executive Director for the Port Charlotte Chamber of Commerce.
Other fans say they feel the league is overreacting but they understand, it’s what is best for the players.
“I guess safety first but it is an outside venue, so I was hoping that they would get the game in. You don’t want to overreact but you don’t want to under react.” said Cathy Finn.
The well being of fans, is also a concern as cases continue to increase not only worldwide but in Florida.
“ Well they’ve gotta try and keep people safe, you’ve got athletes traveling around, it could spread all across the county, with big events, I understand but seems like with an outdoor event ,it seems like it would be less dangers but they have to do what they think is best”, said Chad Fryer.
“ I think especially the people that are coming to these games have extra time on their hands. The elderly folks, and those are the ones that are truly at risk of, so yes it is disappointing, but is it for the best in the end yes probably”, said Zach Fryer.
At this time the Minnesota Twins said they will be offering refunds on on spring tickets, group tickets, and single game tickets.
Major League Baseball is working on plans for when the games resume.
All of this comes after the National Hockey League, the NBA and NCAA have all canceled games until further notice. At this time the NFL has canceled their owners meeting in in West Palm Beach, but has not released any other information.