WILLMAR, Minn. — The Northwoods League announced Friday, April 17 that it is pushing back the start of the 2020 season past the originally scheduled May 26 opener.
Minnesota is under stay-at-home orders until May 4. But, Wisconsin, which is home to nine of the baseball league's 22 teams, has issued its "Safer at Home" order through May 26, prompting the league's announcement.
"With fan, player and personnel safety as the primary consideration, the Northwoods League has been closely monitoring developments related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the various restrictions by governmental authorities that have been enacted as a result," the league stated in a press release. "Simultaneously, the league has been considering multiple scenarios that could be adapted to the dynamic environment in which we find ourselves so that where and when baseball can safely be played, it will be played.
"However, each of those options are limited by the extension of stay at home orders in a given state, and when such an extension occurs in various states throughout the League footprint, each scenario must be adapted to fit the evolving circumstances. ... The League will continue to consider multiple scenarios as each state determines its policies, always predicated on the assumption that adequate safeguards can be put in place in ballparks in states where there are no restrictions on large gatherings in order to assure fan, player and personnel safety."
The Northwoods League is a summer collegiate league with teams in Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois Indiana and Ontario.