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Updated: Apr 16th, 2020
Update Regarding COVID-19 Pandemic & PW Events
By: Brian Werner | brian@prospectwire.com

Tampa, FL - All around the world, people are adjusting to a new way of life. In most of places, that way of life means being socially distant from our friends, family and co-workers. This new way of life has affected millions of people in multiple ways. From job losses, school closures, sports shutting down and so much more, it's hard to find someone who is not affected by the COVID-19 virus pandemic. We here at Prospect Wire feel your pain. We empathize with those that have lost their jobs, or had their pay decreased. We are right there making sacrifices with you, and we hope this "nightmare" is something we can get behind us one day soon. When that happens, we will be ready to welcome our loyal customers safely back to our events. 

Here is an update on some of our upcoming events, based on current information that we have gathered from around the country. Please understand, we live in a rapidly changing landscape, and what is true today, may change tomorrow. This is simply an update based on information as of May 22, 2020.

 

1.) Memorial Weekend Classic (FL) - CANCELLED due to COVID-19 Social Distancing Guidelines (May 22-25)

     This morning (May 5th), coaches who had registered for the Memorial Weekend Classic, were informed the event would have to be cancelled. Due to the social distancing guidelines surrounding the different phases of reopening the state of FL, we would not be far enough along to safely allow that may people to be gathered in one general area. The complex at Lake Myrtle felt with the lack of available sanitizing supplies, they would not be equiped properly, in time, to safely provide a clean atmosphere for players, coaches and parents. Teams who had submitted payment were emailed this morning with options regarding their refund. Prospect Wire will begin looking for later dates this summer, as well as this fall, to try and make up for some of our lost events. (Updated 5/10)

 

2.)  West Coast Championships (AZ) - CANCELLED due to COVID-19 Pandemic (June 5-10)

     The City of Mesa made the decision to extend all social distancing guidelines for their parks, through June 30th. We checked and it appears the same is true for other major cities in Arizona. Therefore, we unfortunately had to make the decision to officially cancel the 10th Annual West Coast Championships for the first time in its history. This is a very difficult decision for us to have to make, but with fields closed and the issue at hand, we also understand and respect the decision made by the City of Mesa. We are in touch with them and will look for potential fall dates to bring some replacement events to the area, should we be permitted to safely return later this year. (Updated 5/1)

 

3.)  Southeast Championships (FL) - Boomah Remains CLOSED; looking into new location (June 5-10)

    We have spoken to Boombah again, after the Governor of Florida announced fields could open again if they chose to do so. After meeting with County officials again, Boombah has decided NOT to reopen their parks until June 21st, as noted to us yesterday. They cited the desire to properly prepare their facility before opening, and felt the change by the Governor came with no warning or time to prepare. Prospect Wire has reached out to a handful of other cities around the state, in an effort to see if any fields might be available to rent. If we can secure fields in a new location, we will do so and move the event. Teams have been notified and we will do our best to update them if we hear anything this weekend. But for sure, the event will not take place in Sanford this year.  (Updated 5/22)   

 

4.)  San Diego Invitational (CA) - CANCELLED due to COVID-19 Pandemic (June 12-16)

     Due to the fact we will not have any fields available to us June 12-16, the 4th Annual San Diego Invitational is officially being cancelled for 2020. We are actively looking at dates beginning in the fall to see if we can bring baseball back to the San Diego area. We will update later this summer. Teams that were approved for this event have already been notifed.  (Updated 5/18)

 

5.)  North vs. South Classic - CANCELLED due to COVID-19 Pandemic (June 15-17)

     After reaching out to talk to some of the facilities in the San Diego area, it does not seem enough of them are confident in when they will be able to re-open for outside use. The districts control the decision and many of them are not giving any timetable on a return. Due to this uncertainty, coupled with the loss of our 3 main collegiate facilities, we have decided to cancel the North vs. South Classic for 2020. We considered another alternate date, but with so much unknown, it would be too challenging to try to get the same teams all good to go on the same dates. We will look for some alternative event options on the west coast once we see things opening back up to normal. Our plan is to focus more on the fall in looking for dates for other events. (Updated 5/18)

 

6.)  Father's Day Classic (FL) - Still on as scheduled, but may have strict limitations (June 12-14)

     We spoke with the NY Mets staff this morning to gauge their feelings on being able to use their facilities on June 12-14. They expressed a strong lack of confidence in that being able to happen for several reasons. The main one, is what MLB will decide to do with Spring Training and the minor league season. If MLB comes back, and teams in FL have to go thru a Spring Training for a few weeks, the Mets facility will be off limits.  If the minor league season is cancelled, the Mets have stated they most likely will have their top prospects in town for Instructional Camps, and the fields will be off limits. What this spells out is the better things go with the virus numbers as we re-open, the less likely the Mets fields will be available. This would limit us to only Lawnwood & Lakewood complexes, assuming they will be open for tournaments.  We still have 10 other fields available to us with these complexes. The Treasure Coast Sports Commission will continue to keep us updated on their status as they move into the different phases of the FL reopen plan. (Updated 5/11)

 

7.)  Northern California Classic - Future registrations have been put on hold; update pending (June 27-30)

     As of today, 5 of the 7 fields we were scheduled to use, are not going to be available. In speaking with the other facilities, their biggest concern right now is the condition of the fields. In many counties in Sacramento, the facilities are not going to be open until at least July 1st or August 1st. Several of the coaches said the fields have not been touched in over 60 days, making them a mess for games. We have heard things like the INF clay is full of weeds, the outfield is not mowed and nothing around the INF has been edged. Most coaches said they would not feel comfortable providing a field that is less than good standing. On top of that, the districts have all expressed concerns over liability of running an event during the pandemic. We will continue to monitor this situation, but it's not looking good to host this event.  (Updated 5/18)

 

8.)  Southwest Championships - Event Registrations On Hold; Event Status TBD (July 3-6)

     We received a call today from the City of Mesa to inform us that all city field locations inside Mesa city limits, are officially off limits to organized games and tournaments, from July 1st - July 31st, minimum. Fields will be opened up for practices of 15 people or less only. We are reaching out to surrounding cities to see if they are doing the same, or if it's just a stand alone decision that Mesa made themselves. We are also going to try to contact other facilities to see if it's possible to move the event to another location, before we officially have to cancel things. For now, registrations are on hold until we can secure a new location. Please stay tuned.  Teams registered for the event were notified on 5/19. (Updated 5/19)

 

9.)  World Series Upperclass - Still on as scheduled (July 10-14)

     The odds are increasing that the Mets facility will be unavailable this summer to travel baseball tournaments. This is due to COVID-19 guidelines and MLB's potential return to work. We still will have 6 fields available to use at Lawnwood. If we only can use the one facility, then there would have to be a cap on registrations.  (Updated 5/1)

 

10.) Los Angeles Invitational - Still on as scheduled (July 10-14)

     While it is still too early to make any decisions or provide any concrete updates for California events in July, the news today (5/12) that LA County plans to propose extending their Safter-At-Home Order thru July. While most of our fields are outside the LA county area, our guess is such an order might also be incorporated by surrounding cities. We will remain in contact with the colleges & high school fields we use, as well as the complex in Irvine, to determine the status for this event. But today's announcement is not encouraging news. We also received notification from the City of Irvine that they have a 4 stage plan for reopening for tournaments. Right now they are in the beginning stages of Phase II. They would need to get to Phase IV before they would open for tournaemnts. For the time being, we have suspended reviewing new submissions for this event. Teams are still permitted to submit requests for invitation. Once we feel confident the event can move forward, we will resume approving requests.  (Updated 5/12)

 

11.) World Series Underclass & NextGen - Still on as scheduled (July 17-21)

     You can read above regarding the situtation regarding the Mets facility. We have 10 other fields we use for this event, and should still be able to host things accordingly, if it is safe to return to tournaments at that time. For now this event remains on as scheduled. (Updated 5/1)

 

12.) World Series West - Still on as scheduled (July 17-21)

     We recently spoke to the group in Goodyear. They are hosting a small event in June, and have asked to speak with us after that event takes place. This will allow them to see how things go on a smaller level, before they determine if a larger scale event can take place, that involves all 8 fields available. The complex has discussed no more than 50 people per field, which would mean possibly no parents allowed in to watch. They also suggested only using 2 fields on each side, which would limit the # of teams that would be accepted. We will continue to monitor this situation as we get into June.  (Updated 5/13)

 

13.) National Championship - Still on as scheduled (July 24-29)

     We spoke to IMG's staff today. They are expecting to be open for events, beginning June 28th. We also have contracts for county facilities in the northern end of Port Charlotte. We do not yet know what the Orioles & Rays will be doing with their facilities during July. Until we do, we are doing our best to make sure we have as many non-MLB fields as we can acquire. As of today, this event appears to be in good shape to at least have some facilities available. We will continue to update as things progress. (Updated 5/21)

 

14.) Florida State Championships - Still on as scheduled (July 31-Aug 4)

     We are too far away from this event to make predictions on an early August event. For now, this probably remains the safest of our summer events, logically speaking. We will provide updates to this event as we draw closer to the end of June. (Updated 5/1)

 

15.)  PW Summer Classic (July 11-12)

     We have added a new event July 11-12 in Auburndale, FL at the Lake Myrtle Sports Complex. This event will be a less expensive alternative for teams (specifically central & west coast of FL) as an option that may provide the ability to avoid hotel stays. While we understand we have our World Series for 18U/17U teams, this event is just an cheaper alternative/weekend tournament for teams interested in just playing baseball & not concerned with exposure or college coaching presence. It will be a 3 game guarantee. Registration is now open on our website.  (Updated 5/13)

 

Prospect Wire understands everyone's frustrations. We also understand the need to be safe and do our part in flattening the curve. We will continue to post updates to our social media accounts on Twitter and Instagram as we have new information to share. We hope everyone remains safe and healthy out there and we hope to see you back at a Prospect Wire event in the near future! Thank you!

 

#PWBaseball 

About Brian Werner
Played 2 years of college baseball at Clemson University, appearing in the College World Series in 1996. Played final 2 years at the University of South Florida in Tampa. After graduating, Brian began work as an intern in Scouting & Baseball Operations for the NY Yankees. He was hired full time in 2000, starting as an assistant in Baseball Operations, before eventually becoming the Director. Brian also assisted in running the Pro Scouting Department, serving as the main contact between scouts & executives. In 2008, Brian started with Prospect Wire as Scouting Director, before becoming the National Tournament Director in 2010. He has assisted in most aspects of PW operations over the years, and was named the company's Vice President in January 2020.
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