Earlier Monday, the Chicago White Sox announced a tentative plan for their season-ticket holders:
The Chicago White Sox have offered season ticket holders 5 percent interest on their money being held for 2020 if games are not played and they let it roll over to 2021.— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) April 20, 2020
This sounds like a fairly reasonable offer, particularly if they then freeze season-ticket prices at 2020 levels — and I cannot imagine any team raising STH prices for 2021. Later in the day, the Cubs were said to have essentially matched that:
The Cubs will offer their season ticket holders 5% on their money for games not played in 2020.This will be an optional plan.— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) April 20, 2020
Levine also reports that season-ticket holders could take a refund if they so choose:
Each team is offering the option for season-ticket holders to take 5% interest on the money that’s being held for 2020. As an example, if customer John Doe chooses to take the offer, he’d receive the interest paid to him and the principal would roll over for his 2021 season-ticket payment.
Season-ticket holders will also have the option for a complete refund.
Presumably, if you take the refund, you don’t get the five percent.
As of now, all Cubs season-ticket accounts should essentially be paid in full. The White Sox have other plans in which STH can pay on a monthly or other time-based basis, and they paused those payments last month.
I have not received any official communication from the Cubs on this plan, as a season-ticket holder I would presume that I will at some point and will then share details with you.
The Cubs and White Sox have also joined several other teams who have committed to paying their full-time employees through May:
The Cubs have technically extended the commitment to their employees through the May 22 pay period, for which payment is received a week later on May 29, a source said.
This article indicates that the Blue Jays have joined the list of teams committing to paying their staffs through the end of May. I would suspect that most teams will join that group, even though Commissioner Rob Manfred is going to allow teams to furlough team employees beginning May 1:
Effective May 1, Commissioner Rob Manfred will suspend Uniform Employee Contracts, enabling teams to furlough employees or reduce their pay, according to major-league sources. Teams would not be required to take such measures, but baseball’s decision would provide the possibility of relief for clubs facing the most significant financial duress as the 2020 season remains on hold.
Beyond the end of May we’re in uncharted territory. There are still proposals on the table to have some sort of season later in the summer and fall, but all of those proposals depend on whether they can be done safely and in areas that have had stay-at-home orders lifted. Whether that can happen is still far from certain. June 1 is still more than seven weeks away. I would think that at the very least, we should have a good idea what the summer of 2020 is going to look like in the US and Canada.
As always, we await developments.