Last summer was pretty good one for the Las Vegas Aviators.
They opened their new stadium, then won their division title. Frank Riordan was named Manager of the Year.
So better things to come were expected in 2020 for the Oakland A’s triple-A minor league team.
But Opening Day never arrived because of the coronavirus pandemic. And that year-old Las Vegas Ballpark is sitting empty.
Don Logan, president and chief operating officer with the Las Vegas Aviators, has spent 37-years in sports and was named Minor League Executive of the Year in 2019.
Logan said the delay in starting the season has been “odd,” but this coronavirus pandemic is bigger than baseball.
“We are just trying to be as patient and understating of what’s going on as we can and be here be ready to jump back in and entertain Southern Nevadans who are really going to need it once we get going.”
Logan said he and other minor league presidents are talking about how to modify the schedule. He said April and most of May are gone but there could be some options for later in the year.
"So, we need permission from Major League Baseball from the commissioner’s office to do this but we would like to play through September and maybe October to try to make up games that we lose on the front end on the back end,” he said.
Despite the delay, Logan is confident that baseball will return.
“That is one of the things that I think people can rest assured baseball is going to figure out a way to play,” he said.
Logan noted that baseball has been there to help the country through all kinds of tragedies and traumas and it will be there through this one.
He is also confident that when the season does start again fans will return to the Las Vegas Ballpark; however, he thinks there will a lot fewer hugs and handshakes. He also believes people will be more conscious of handwashing and basic hygiene.
Logan said about 60 professional players call Las Vegas home from big leaguers like Kris Bryant and Bryce Harper to minor leaguers that play for him.
Usually, the ballpark is open for them to train during the off-season but that's not available right now. Instead, many are on their own.
“It’s a test for them. How much discipline they have and how hard they’re going to work to stay in shape and be ready to go when the time comes,” he said.
Besides the players, the ballpark is usually staffed with all kinds of people from food and beverage vendors to field maintenance personnel. Plus, the team has several full-time and part-time employees, Logan said he's trying to keep in contact with as many people as he can.
“We’re staying in contact with everybody. You’re talking from the players on the field to our on-field staff to our full-time staff here to our season ticket holders to our sponsors. There’s countless people that we’re just trying to make regular contact with,” he said.
Until baseball returns, everything is on hold.
Don Logan, president and chief operating officer, Las Vegas Aviators
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