GREENVILLE, S.C. – The Greenville Drive, in conjunction with Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball, and the South Atlantic League today announced that the 2020 season has been canceled due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic that has swept across the world.
The ongoing concern regarding the safety of our community, and Minor League Baseball communities across America – including fans, front office staff, game day staff, players and coaches – led to this decision.
On March 12, Minor League Baseball – in conjunction with health officials and the Federal government – had announced a delay to the start of the 2020 season. While the Drive have continued to prepare for a rescheduled Opening Night, including revising and updating health and safety protocols, the complexity of the issues created by the COVID 19 virus were simply too great to overcome for minor league baseball to have its 2020 season.
“The Greenville Drive are devastated by today’s unprecedented announcement,” stated Drive Owner and President, Craig Brown. “Our staff has been hard at work for many months preparing for the Drive’s 15th Anniversary Season in Downtown Greenville at Fluor Field. In partnership with leading Business and Community Partners, we had several significant new events planned that would have been highly complementary to our popular and much anticipated annual events such as our Reading All-Stars Celebrations, Healthcare Career Night, Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering Night, Green Day, Drive Business Downtown and many more.”
Brown continued, “I’m very disappointed for our fans and the entire Community as the summer will not be the same in Downtown Greenville without Drive baseball to enjoy. And I’m also disappointed that the dedication and hard work put in by our staff will now have to wait until 2021 to see its full impact. Nonetheless and despite this devastating news which impacts us on so many levels you can be sure that the Drive will remain as committed as ever investing in the economic health and vitality of our region and insuring the Upstate remains a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family.”
Drive General Manager Eric Jarinko added, “Since 2006, Fluor Field at the West End has become the ‘Front Porch of the Community’. We were extremely excited to celebrate our 15th Anniversary Season in 2020. While we are disappointed that we’ll all have to wait until 2021 to officially celebrate this milestone season, the most important consideration is the safety and well-being of our fans.”
With the cancellation of the baseball season, the organization’s focus will pivot to hosting public and private events at Fluor Field this Summer, Fall, and Winter. The Drive and its West End Events team have taken the “Greater Greenville Pledge” and are continuing to implement best-practices for cleanliness and sanitization of the park, including continuing to add health and safety measures that will provide all Fluor Field visitors with the safest and healthiest experience possible.
Brown indicated, “Initial events are likely to be small and intimate, but as we ultimately rebound from the pandemic, with Fluor Field setup as our Community’s ideal social distancing venue, it is our hope that our Community will eagerly return home to Greenville’s Front Porch. There is nothing we want more than to see smiling faces once again at the ballpark.”