Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp scrap plans to begin season Monday
While 123 Financial Ballpark is quiet now due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp don't know when baseball games will return to the stadium. Photo by Drew Dixon.

123 Financial Ballpark
There's no return date established.

The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp were swinging for the fence when the franchise ambitiously set June 15 for a return to regular baseball games. That’s not going to happen.

The Double A Minor League team has scrapped plans to begin its season on Monday. The franchise pushed back the original season opener in April to the June 15 date in the hopes the impact from the coronavirus outbreak would have let up.

“We’re not going to be playing on the 15th,” said Jumbo Shrimp spokesperson Scott Kornberg. “We’re tying to figure out what to do.”

The season, though, like many other sports leagues and events, has been put on indefinite hold with no return set for the near future as social distancing and other measures are employed to combat the spread of COVID-19.

The Jumbo Shrimp, which is a farm club for the Major League Miami Marlins, are still contingent on the majors for schedules and labor issues that trickle down to the Minor League, Kornberg said. With operations, season schedules and player labor issues still unresolved as coronavirus continues to spread, there’s no telling when Minor League ball will return to 121 Financial Ballpark.

“It’s definitely frustrating,” Kornberg said.

Meanwhile, the Jumbo Shrimp have scheduled events at its ballpark designed to safely get fans to return to the stadium in downtown Jacksonville for some semblance of activity.

On May 30, there was a family movie night where several hundred people showed up to watch a screening of Frozen II on the stadium’s center field video screen, while observing social distancing.

Meanwhile, Jumbo Shrimp officials have another event planned for  Father’s Day weekend June 20 and 21. The paid entrance gets fathers dinner with their families Saturday and brunch Sunday. Both events will employ social distancing measures.

Drew Dixon

Drew Dixon is a journalist of 40 years who has reported in print and broadcast throughout Florida, starting in Ohio in the 1980s. He is also an adjunct professor of philosophy and ethics at three colleges, Jacksonville University, University of North Florida and Florida State College at Jacksonville. You can reach him at [email protected]



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