The Rocket City Trash Pandas could see their first-ever franchise game pushed back as the coronavirus has put a pause on the world of sports.
Minor League Baseball announced it is delaying the start of the season, but didn't say for how long. Opening day for the Trash Pandas is April 15th and the team is preparing as if that won't change. Team Owner Ralph Nelson has seen season delays before.
"I was involved with Major League Baseball when we had a couple of strikes and play stopped, we had a delay of several weeks when we had 9/11," Nelson said.
Nelson says a delay due to something like the coronavirus is different and the timing is unfortunate.
"It bothers us a little bit because we had planned so hard for this opening day and we may or may not have opening day on the 15th," Nelson said.
But he says the team's opening day could still be on-time. The MLB announced it is delaying the season by two weeks, but MiLB never announced a timeframe. Nelson says because of that, he and his team must be ready.
"Minor league baseball has said they will delay the start of the season but that can be as few as 7 days," Nelson said.
For many in the minors, gamedays are crucial for a source of income. Nelson knows that, and hopes the coronavirus doesn't take away from people who depend on the game.
"Hopefully we will still play the 70 games, just play later into September which would be perfect and everyone would make the money they would have made", Nelson said.
Nelson tells WAAY31 single game tickets will still go on sale this weekend and construction will still go on as planned.
MiLB said it will announce how long the season's delay will be at a later date.