Many baseball fans should expect to hear their first dose of good news in a long time on Wednesday.
No, the games aren’t returning quite yet. But some money will be.
An industry source confirmed that, at Major League Baseball’s direction, the 30 teams will start reaching out to their ticket-buying fans on Wednesday afternoon to address their concerns about tickets that won’t be used. The focus will be on the games scheduled for dates that already have passed without getting played due to the coronavirus shutdown. Policies will be determined by each team, although the general expectation is that clubs, understanding how many of their customers are hurting financially, will find it in their best long-term interest to offer refunds.
The move, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, acknowledges the reality that baseball will not have a 162-game season in 2020. Until now, MLB had been defining the missed games as “postponed,” an important distinction from “canceled” in that postponed games can be rescheduled and therefore ticket owners are not entitled to refunds or credit. Such legalese had turned increasingly unappealing, with some politicians publicly voicing their disapproval and lawsuits garnering attention.
Baseball officials have grown increasingly optimistic that the sport will exist in some form this year. There even exists a belief that most of the home ballparks will be able to host games, if not necessarily with paying customers, with the Yankees and Mets among the less likely teams to reach that stage due to how badly the area has been hit by COVID-19.