2021 Entrepreneurial Awards

Minor League Has Bases Covered for Pandemic Protocols

Now it’s time to think about spring and opening day.

Throughout the state and the country, baseball is just another business that took a bit of a beating in 2020.

From the West Michigan Whitecaps to the Great Lakes Loons to the Lansing Lugnuts, minor league baseball had to pivot to find novel ways to bring back some of the income lost by pandemic restrictions. Many also stepped up in tough times.

The Loons lent a hand after the Midland and Sanford flooding in 2020, becoming the home of the local farmers market for the 2020 season. It also opened its parking lots for a mass testing clinic.

Now it’s time to think about spring and opening day — and when it comes to COVID-19 safety protocols, the Lansing Lugnuts have their bases covered.

According to General Manager Tyler Parsons, the team has worked closely with the Ingham County Health Department to formulate procedures for the safety of patrons, employees, players and coaches at Jackson Field.

“We hosted a number of events in 2020 and had strict protocols and staff training in place for each of those,” explained Parsons. “We know we live in an ever-evolving world right now, and we are going to continue to work with health experts to make sure Jackson Field is the safest environment possible.”

Parsons said the Lugnuts received a wealth of feedback on safety protocols from other venues and organizations as well as the fan base of the Lugnuts. He noted it’s imperative that the organization listens and uses that information to put policies in place that make the stadium safe and welcoming for the fan experience.

“We are looking at a number of things such as mobile food ordering, touchless bathroom amenities, increased cleaning schedules and cashless points of sale for 2021,” Parsons said. “We will continue to work with our team to finalize these as we get closer to the season and have more clarity from the federal, state and local level on any potential restrictions.”

Details still being firmed up at the start of 2021 between Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball included schedules, league alignments and the number of games in the season.

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