BELOIT (WKOW) -- The Beloit Snappers were scheduled to open the season at home on April 9th, but in a snap, the start of the season disappeared.
"I think that, unfortunately, it won't be April, but we're hoping for May but pretty secure in June," says Jonathan Griffith, the President of Studer Entertainment and Retail. That group is managing the day-to-day activities of the team and attempting to purchase the franchise.
Like all of professional baseball, the Snappers are on standby. They are waiting for clearance to resume preseason training and prepare a team for the upcoming season. They are planning as if the season will still start in two weeks. Although, they know that it won't.
"Our goal is to be prepared for the season to start tomorrow, and when it happens a month from now, we're ready for that as well," says Griffith.
The coronavirus pandemic that has put baseball on hold has also added a wrinkle to the plans for the 2021 season. The Snappers are hoping to move into a new 2,500-seat stadium at the start of next season. The project still needs to clear a couple of legal hurdles. The city of Beloit is forging ahead with their approval process, which now includes virtual public meetings.
"We're doing everything we can to keep our staff safe, the public safe, but this is a project that we're able to continue to work on, despite everything happening with the public health crisis," explains Sarah Millard, the Director of Strategic Communications for the city.
The developers of the project plan to break ground in May or June. They do not expect the coronavirus to slow their timeline, although other factors may cause delays. The hope for all involved is that baseball will return to Beloit soon and the new stadium will be ready for next season.
"We are moving forward full-blown ahead," says Griffith of the stadium build process. "The goal is April 2021, but we'll see."
The Snappers did have to cancel their job fair last week. They are planning to reschedule at a later date to have all hires in time for the season opener...whenever that may be.