Scrappers win aid

State awards $927,487 to team to make up pandemic losses

NILES — With a loss of 95 percent of their revenue in 2020, and between 60 and 70 percent in 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers are appreciative of the $927,487 approved by the 134th Ohio General Assembly to help support minor league baseball and hockey teams in the state.

The 134th Ohio General Assembly appropriated $30 million from the American Rescue Plan Act to help eligible teams recover from losses suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic through the Minor League Relief Grants, which are being administered through the Ohio Department of Development.

Jordan Taylor, executive vice president of HWS Baseball, said for the Scrappers and other minor league baseball teams it was a very challenging period in 2020 and 2021.

“We lost our entire 2020 season with 95 percent of our revenue lost that season. It was devastating to our business,” Taylor said.

He said the 2021 season also suffered because capacity size limits for games and events at the field were reduced. Taylor said the 2021 season saw the Scrappers experiencing a 60 to 70 percent loss of what a normal season would have generated in revenue.

“We are very appreciative and thankful of the dollars we will be receiving, which will greatly help us get back on our feet,” Taylor said.

He said the 2023 season kicked off last week with the first game of the season on June 1. The Scappers team members were introduced to the public with an autograph session at Eastwood Field in Niles.

Lydia Mihalik, director of the Department of Development, said, “Ohio is the heart of excitement, and there’s nothing more exciting than the roar of a crowd rooting for the home team.”

“With this funding we’re supporting more than just these teams; we’re supporting beloved members of our communities. Whether it’s with a hat trick or a home run, these teams bring generations of fans together and give them something to cheer for. We’re proud to invest in that,” Mihalik said in a news release.

The following eligible minor league baseball teams are named in the legislation, along with the grant amount they will receive:

• Akron Rubber Ducks — $3,869,612.21

• Dayton Dragons — $6,208,396.14

• Lake County Captains — $1,635,080.84

• Lake Erie Crushers — $1,032,259.67

• Mahoning Valley Scrappers — $927,487.38

• Toledo Mud Hens — $7,414,769.06

The following eligible minor league hockey teams were named in the legislation, along with the grant amount they will receive:

• Cincinnati Cyclones — $3,590,363.86

• Toledo Walleye — $5,321,219.43

Individual grant amounts are awarded based on the eligible teams’ 2019 gross revenue.


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