Due to COVID-19, the Savannah Bananas and the other 14 teams in the Coastal Plain League summer college baseball league will delay the beginning of the season until July 1, with the season set to run through Sept. 3.
"The name of our company is Fans First Entertainment," said Bananas owner Jesse Cole at this morning's announcement. "Every decision we make we ask ourselves: Is it Fans First? This is a decision and a responsibility we don't take lightly."
Cole said, "Today we are proud to announce that the Savannah Bananas will be back this summer and will be playing in front of fans... we'll play a full schedule with 30 home games."
The start date is about a full month later than the previous May 28 date.
At the announcement, Savannah Mayor Van Johnson said, "We know that there is a day and time in which we will get to what our new normal will be.... hopefully, prayerfully, based on the science July 1, the Bananas Nation will be back in full effect."
Pandemic response will include limiting capacity, practicing social distancing, and serving customers "in a safe way," Cole said.
Distancing will be put in effect with seating arrangements which will reduce capacity in historic Grayson Stadium by about fifty percent, or down to about 2,000 total attendance at most.
This means there will be no more tickets sold. Livestreams and watch parties are planned for people who won't be able to get into games.
Food lines will be spread out for safe distancing.
"The Coastal Plain League has closely monitored the COVID-19 announcements of the Federal, State and Local authorities in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia and has delayed the league's scheduled 2020 season start until July 1," the League said in a Wednesday morning announcement.
"Depending on governmental guidance, teams may begin to form in mid-June to prepare for the season and may play some exhibition games in June. It is expected that this schedule will allow the league's teams and host cities to properly prepare to give the fans and the country's finest collegiate baseball players a safe and enjoyable environment. We look forward to an exciting 2020 baseball season."
The 2020 CPL All-Star Show, originally set for July 12-13 in Holly Springs, N.C., has been canceled. The Holly Springs Salamanders will instead host the 2021 All-Star Show with dates and information to be announced over the coming months.