The St. Paul Saints announced Friday that the team will be participating in a 60-game season beginning July 3, but all games will be played in Sioux Falls, South Dakota until “capacity restrictions for outdoor events have relaxed” in Minnesota.
The American Association of Independent Professional Baseball said the shortened season will run from July 3 to September 10, concluding with a championship series between the top two teams. The league will consist of six teams based in three separate hubs.
The Saints will be grouped with the Sioux Falls Canaries at Sioux Falls Stadium. The Winnipeg Goldeyes will be with the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks at Newman Outdoor Field, home of the RedHawks. The Chicago Dogs will be paired with the Milwaukee Milkmen at Ballpark Commons, home of the Milkmen.
Six other teams in the association will not operate this summer because of the impact of COVID-19 in their local communities.
Each team will play 42 of their 60 games in their hub to limit travel, the Saints said in a press release. The schedule, which was released Monday, will allow any of the road clubs to return home for games if local government restrictions permit games with more fans in attendance.
“Our sincere hope, and frankly, our plan is to play baseball in St. Paul sooner rather than later,” Saints Executive Vice President Derek Sharrer said in a statement. “There were several contingencies discussed, but we realized moving forward with this system was both best for the league and for our ability to accomplish our primary goal of entertaining fans at CHS Field this summer. We appreciate Sioux Falls, Fargo, and Milwaukee opening their ballparks for us, Winnipeg, and Chicago.”
As of June 10, Minnesota has been in phase three of Gov. Tim Walz’s “Stay Safe Plan,” which requires outdoor events and entertainment to be limited to 250 people with “six feet of social distance” between parties. It’s unclear when the state will move to phase four of the reopening plan, which will allow for increased capacity at outdoor events.
The Saints said fans who have purchased tickets for the 2020 season will have the opportunity to exchange their tickets for any game played at CHS Field this season or next.
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