The COVID-19 pandemic has put sports on hold worldwide. Locally, it’s put into question if the 2020 Major League Soccer season will be played in its entirety. Recently, MLS once again delayed its earliest start date, now saying that no games will be played before June 8. Given statements by health officials, it could be much later than that and could be closed to fans even when it starts back up.
Yesterday, Orlando City sent a letter from CEO Alex Leitao via email to season ticket members about the club’s plans should games end up being cancelled or played with no fans. He insisted that there are still enough dates for the remaining 32 league games to be played but laid out the club’s plans should the pandemic extend further into the future.
A common question among fans is what will happen should they not be allowed to attend games, either because of cancellations or games being played behind closed doors. Major League Baseball originally wasn’t going to provide refunds for fans who had already bought tickets but changed tactics due to the backlash. With the pandemic expected to extend further than the summer, the question is now being raised among MLS fans.
Leitao said in his email that the plan for Orlando City is not to provide refunds to season ticket members for the 2020 season, but to provide a credit towards their 2021 ticket plans. This might be somewhat concerning to those who need the money now, or were not planning to renew their season tickets for the 2021 season. However, Leitao also stated that the club will work with those who require other accommodations to find an “appropriate solution” should the situation occur.
Over the past two years, disgruntled season ticket members have resulted in the club offering certain incentives. This includes an annual scarf and patch that weren’t offered in 2016, 2017, or 2018. Leitao said that those who renew for the 2021 season should expect a “strong package of enhanced benefits” and “added value.” What that means was not specified as the club will reveal details at a later date.
While there’s no new information on when the MLS season will resume, or if it will resume, Leitao’s message is helpful to season ticket members who might have been wondering what will happen should games be cancelled — a real possibility this season. Yesterday’s email shines a little light on the plans of the club as we move further into the summer months.