Michael Dill
Michael Dill

There is an endless list of businesses that were (and still are) negatively impacted by the pandemic that gripped the U.S. for much of the past 16 months.  The Jersey Shore BlueClaws are one of them but some relief could be coming thanks to leftover COVID-19 relief funds that were designed to help teams recover from the economic impact of the pandemic.  However the minor league baseball team, celebrating its 20th season, is seeking support from its many loyal fans and others.

The bi-partisan Minor League Baseball Relief Act will head to congress in the next several weeks and if approved would repurpose the already-appropriated emergency grant funding to include eligible minor league teams with Small Business Administration grants to cover payroll costs and other regular business expenses.  This would only be for independently owned and operated clubs like the BlueClaws.

While Congress provided interim relief through the PPP program it did not help in any way replace the loss of a full-years revenue as minor league teams did not play any games in 2020.  This bill is designed to do the same for minor league baseball as it did for other entertainment venues and operators.

The main thing to understand is the money is there and would come from unused relief funds allocated in prior legislation.  BlueClaws President Joe Ricciutti said “while we are certainly excited to be back playing this year, the last 16 months have been extremely challenging financially for our team and everyone across the industry.  Passage of this bill would go a long way to helping out teams such as the BlueClaws and we thank everyone for their continued support.”

Fans are asked to show their support by visiting MinorLeagueBaseballRelief.com where they can fill out a simple form which will be sent automatically to their local House and Senate representatives urging them to support the legislation.

The Jersey Shore BlueClaws are currently on the road but will return to FirstEnergy Park on July 27 for a 12-game homestand.

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