With prospects of a minor league season continuing to dwindle because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders are offering season ticket holders refund options.
Choices range from full refunds to the ability to roll over plans to 2021. If fans choose the latter, they’ll have access to things like seat upgrades or special team-related experiences.
“Our initial stance was, let’s just wait and see what’s going to happen with the season,” RailRiders president John Adams said.
Adams noted what happens with the RailRiders season is out of their control. It’s up to Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball to decide when — and if — a season would begin. Also, even though Gov. Tom Wolf is allowing Pennsylvania’s professional sports teams to resume practice and competition without spectators, it wouldn’t make financial sense for minor league teams to host baseball games without fans in the stands.
“I think we’ve gotten to a point where one, the number of people asking for refunds has picked up, and two, we’re not very optimistic, based off of where we’re at as far as the opening of our county and where Major League Baseball is at in their process, we’re not optimistic about a season right now,” Adams said. “And it’s still outside of our hands. We thought we’d be at a point where we’d have some clarity and be able to give fans some answers based on where Major League Baseball was at, but it sounds like their negotiation is just dragging on, and we felt like we needed to be fan first and communicate to our fans and let them know what their options are instead of having them coming to us. So, we just felt like it was the right thing to do.”
The type of season ticket plan dictates what’s available if fans wish to roll over to 2021. But generally speaking, they’ll receive their full account value, plus an extra 20 percent that can go to more tickets or to ticket upgrades. They will also gain access to experiences like sitting in the dugout for an inning; or the ability to lead the crowd in “Take Me Out to the Ballgame;” or the chance to announce batters during a half-inning; or have the RailRiders mascot, Champ, show up to their personal or corporate event.
In addition, the RailRiders will help those who roll over their plans honor people who were on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. If a fan owns four season tickets, the RailRiders will donate four tickets in their name to those who were at the forefront of the fight against the virus.
“And a lot of our season next year, especially in the beginning, is going to be honoring those people,” Adams said.
Conor Foley goes beyond the box score with in-depth coverage of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees. He has worked at The Times-Tribune since graduating from University of Scranton in 2011, and he has covered the RailRiders since 2017. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9125; or @railridersTT