(LEX 18) — Negotiations between Major League Baseball owners and the players association remain at an impasse, meaning the future for the Lexington Legends is uncertain.
The High-A minor league baseball team should be celebrating their 20th year in Lexington this season.
"20th anniversary, going for the three-peat and this is the summer we're having," said Lexington Legends President and CEO Andy Shea.
In early June, baseball season should be full swing for the two-time South Atlantic League champions, but instead Whitaker Bank Ballpark is empty.
"It hurts a lot. It hurts a lot for the hundreds of people that we should have working here right now," Shea said. "It hurts a lot for the hundreds of vendors that should be working with right now, and everything that comes along with that."
The owners and players association have been unable to reach an agreement about resuming play following the coronavirus pandemic.
While the guys making the big bucks make the big decisions, it's the up-and-coming players who suffer.
"I think it hurts them a lot. I think both on the field as well as the personal development. A lot of the guys that come here are 18 and 19 years old so it's kind of like their freshman or sophomore year of college," said Shea.
As for the Legends, 2019 may have been final curtain call for the team as an affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.
The ball club remains on the MLB chopping block for 2021.
"From the discussions that I've had, I do still feel positive and optimistic. We've got a great stadium, we've got a great operation, we've got great attendance and a great community," said Shea.
Shea says he's hopeful, and there are always other options for next season.
In the meantime, he's excited to welcome some high school and collegiate athletes to Whitaker Bank Ballpark this summer.