While Major League Baseball and the affiliated minor leagues are shut down, the Chicago Dogs and several other American Association clubs will begin play on July 3.
According to the league, a total of six teams will play in three hubs due to the new coronavirus, at least at the start of the season.
The Dogs, who normally play their games at Impact Field in suburban Rosemont, will instead play home games at the Ballpark Commons along with the Milwaukee Milkmen, according to the league.
Minnesota’s St. Paul Saints will play home games at Sioux Falls Stadium along with South Dakota’s Sioux Falls Canaries. Manitoba’s Winnipeg Goldeyes will be based at Newman Outdoor Field along with North Dakota’s Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks.
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All three home teams are in position to sell about 25% to 33% of their ballpark’s capacities.
A 60-game regular season is envisioned through Sept. 10, and the top two teams will meet in a best-of-five championship series. Teams will allow limited capacities of spectators, if allowed.
Each team will play 42 games in its hub, including 30 home games. A displaced team would return to its regular home ballpark if government restrictions in place during the pandemic are relaxed.
Six teams will not operate this season, including the Gary SouthShore RailCats.
The Cleburne Railroaders in Texas, Kansas City T-Bones, Lincoln Saltdogs in Nebraska, Sioux City Explorers in Iowa and Texas AirHogs in Prairie will also sit out for the season.
Training is slated to start June 25.
Major League Baseball's agreement with the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, the governing body of the affiliated minors, expires after the season. MLB has proposed cutting guaranteed affiliations from 160 to 140 and also has discussed making St. Paul an affiliated club.
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