Warner and Kaine fight for Virginia Minor League baseball teams

(© Sean Gladwell – stock.adobe.com)

U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine are mobilizing with the Minor League Baseball Relief Act to help the nine minor league baseball teams in Virginia who are suffering economically after the COVID-19 crisis threw a ball into their season 2020.

The Minor League Baseball Relief Act would provide up to $ 550 million in federal relief funds to MiLB teams, which are important economic engines in Commonwealth communities as baseball fans come to watch games and end up hanging out. local businesses like restaurants, hotels and other attractions. The accompanying legislation was presented to the House of Representatives by Heavyweight Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA) and David McKinley (R-WV).

“For many working families, attending a weekend Minor League baseball game in Commonwealth stadiums is an affordable and fun family outing,” said Senator Warner. “Baseball is not only America’s hobby, it is also an economic lifeline for many communities. However, like many small businesses throughout the COVID-19 crisis, our minor league baseball teams in Virginia and across the country have struggled mightily to keep the lights on. Since there was no minor league baseball season in 2020 due to the pandemic, many of these teams suffered heavy financial losses that were not significantly alleviated by existing economic relief programs. for small businesses. I am happy to work with my colleagues on this bill which would allow these local treasures to access economic aid.

“Baseball isn’t just America’s favorite pastime, bringing together friends and family; it is also a critical economic engine for the Commonwealth, ”said Senator Kaine. “Community teams in Virginia support our local economy and create jobs. The pandemic has taken its toll on this beloved sport, and I am proud to present this bipartisan legislation to help MiLB teams navigate this economic crisis. “

The bases are loaded in Virginia, with nine Commonwealth MiLB teams eligible for financial relief under the Minor League Baseball Relief Act, which include:

  • Fredericksburg Nationals
  • Tides for norfolk
  • Richmond Flying Squirrels
  • Lynchburg cats
  • Danville otters
  • Pulaski River Turtles
  • Salem Red Sox
  • Bluefield Ridge Runners
  • Bristol State liners

The Minor League Baseball Relief Act is said to be modeled after the successful closed site operators grant program, which provided much needed assistance to sites such as theaters, museums or concert halls that were forced to close in due to the necessary COVID-19 security measures.

Specifically, the Minor League Baseball Relief Act:

  • Reallocate up to $ 550 million in COVID-19 relief funds for an emergency grants program administered by the Small Business Administration that would otherwise be returned to the US Treasury.
  • Provide grants to eligible clubs up to a maximum of $ 10 million. Eligible expenses include salary costs, current business expenses (e.g. rent, utilities), worker protection expenses, and payments made to independent contractors.
  • Offer the possibility of a second grant at 50% of the first if a club’s income does not recover and does not significantly exceed its 2019 total.
  • Require strict SBA oversight through documentation, review of use and audit on grant funding, and applies to any minor league baseball team that was previously part of the National League Association professional baseball, but not to any Major League-owned club. Baseball.

Play ball and read a copy of the text of the bill here.

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