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It's official: York Revolution's Atlantic League season canceled because of pandemic

Ron Musselman
York Dispatch

The independent Atlantic League announced Friday it has canceled its 2020 baseball season.

The decision was forced because the league couldn't create enough revenue to operate with limited crowd allowances in some states because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The York Revolution, however, is exploring alternate plans for PeoplesBank Park this summer, which could include some baseball.

The Revolution will partner with its Atlantic League foe, the Lancaster Barnstormers, to turn the longtime friendly rivalry into an inter-county baseball and new community outreach initiative.

More:After Sugar Land exits, decision deadline looms for Atlantic League's 2020 baseball season

More:Wiffle Ball national championship set for October at PeoplesBank Park

York and Lancaster are currently limited to 250 fans allowed at games under Gov. Tom Wolf's reopening plan. York Revolution president Eric Menzer said last week that at 250 fans the team couldn't generate enough revenue to operate the team.

Now, with the official Atlantic League season canceled, the Revs and the Barnstormers are still discussing possible games between the two regional rivals.

“The plan would build on the long-time 'War of the Roses' partnership of the two clubs,” the Revolution said in a news release. “Senior managers from each club have already begun discussing options, as well as several new variations of the longstanding ‘War’ that would welcome new activities and events in each city, with each being cross-promoted and co-hosted by the two clubs.”

Other teams in the league — the High Point Rockers, Long Island Ducks and Southern Maryland Blue Crabs — are working with other professional teams to create a 70-game season that would run from July to September. The Sugar Land Skeeters previously announced its own four-team league in Texas and the Somerset Patriots are in a similar situation as the Revs.

The Revolution also is planning a variety of outdoor dining events, movies on the ballpark video board, hosting of youth and men’s league baseball games and community events and private parties.

PeoplesBank Park is set to play host to the Class of 2020 Baseball and Softball Invitationals this summer.

The team has begun marketing its large outdoor seating areas as alternative meeting and event spaces for area companies and organizations seeking options that conform with health official recommendations during the pandemic, the release said.

York also previously announced its intentions to host events for senior high school baseball and softball players that lost their senior seasons because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The events don't currently have an official date, but a mid-July time frame was mentioned as a possibility.

In October, the inaugural fast-pitch United Wiffle Ball National Championship is set to be played at PeoplesBank Park.

“Accepting the reality of not being able to safely and economically play our regular season is painful and heartbreaking — and we support this action, because it has become clear that player safety and economic considerations make what we typically do infeasible,” Menzer said in a statement.

“We would never want to do anything that imperils the health of our fans, players, or employees.”

— Ron Musselman can be reached at rmusselman@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @ronmusselman8. Rob Rose contributed to this report.

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