Pro baseball will return to metro Milwaukee for the Fourth of July weekend when the Milwaukee Milkmen take the field in Franklin.
The American Association of Independent Professional Baseball on Monday announced a 2020 season with a 60-game schedule for six teams. Six other teams in the league will sit out the season.
“The American Association teams participating in the 2020 season were based on cities allowing for fans in attendance at stadiums, geography and the COVID-19 restrictions that persist in certain American Association cities,” the league said in its announcement.
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After Major League Baseball’s attempt to start the 2020 season left baseball fans fearing a summer without the national pastime, the American Association decided to unveil its 2020 season to spark “a glimmer of hope” in baseball fans, league officials said.
The season will run from July 3-Sept. 10 followed by a best-of-five subsequent championship series. Tickets for the games at the Milkmen’s Routine Field in Franklin were not yet available on Monday.
To reduce the COVID-19 risks to traveling teams, the American Association took a similar approach to the National Basketball Association and will have the six teams based in three hubs: Franklin; Fargo, North Dakota; and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The six teams are split into three pairs and each pair is based at one of the three hubs. The Chicago Dogs join the Milkmen in Franklin, the St. Paul Saints with the Sioux Falls Canaries, and the Winnipeg Goldeyes with the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks.
Hub hosts like the Milkmen will play 30 games as the home team, 12 games as the visiting team in their home stadium and 18 road games traveling to other hub sites. Additionally, the schedule allows any of the on-road teams to return home if local health and governmental restrictions allow fans to attend games. Each team and stadium will have COVID plans “approved by local health and government officials” in place.
The American Association teams that will not participate this season are located in Cleburne, Texas; Gary, Indiana; Kansas City, Kansas; Lincoln, Nebraska; Sioux City, Iowa; and Grand Prairie, Texas.