Pandemic delays season for Norwich Sea Unicorns, impacts local charities and city’s economy

New London

NORWICH, Conn. (WTNH)– Efforts to get the field at Dodd Stadium game ready are now underway. The newly branded Norwich Sea Unicorns were supposed to play their opening night game there Sunday night but the start of this season has been delayed indefinitely.

“Ultimately, we’re waiting to find out if Major League Baseball will end up sending players to minor league affiliates for the summer,” said Dave Schermerhorn, General Manager of the Norwich Sea Unicorns.

The Sea Unicorns and the city have been fighting to keep the team in Norwich beyond this 2020 season ever since Major League Baseball announced a major change up which could strike out 42 minor league teams, including this one. 

“To see an asset like that go in southeastern Connecticut is mind boggling that they would let that happen,” said Greg Schlough, Event Coordinator for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life of southeastern Connecticut

The fundraising event, which except for this year because of the pandemic, has been held at Dodd Stadium for a decade.

“In the nine years we’ve been there, they saved us well over $160,000,” said Schlough.

Countless charities have come to count on this NY Penn League team.

“Charities that we’re able to support a cause by donating a raffle item or something of that nature to help raise money for some great causes,” said Schermerhorn.

Minor league ball having a major impact on some in the community. 

“Restaurants, hotels depend on those folks coming into town to catch a baseball game or two or three over the course of maybe a long weekend,” said Schermerhorn.

More than a 150 people are also employed at the stadium throughout the summer. 

Whether it be a baseball game or another community event the team is hoping to be able to reopen the stadium to the public sometime soon and you can be sure they will have plans in place to make sure people are socially distanced apart.

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