MLB teams have announced ticket refund and bonus credit options for games not played due to COVID-19, while Hungary extends its mass gathering ban to mid-August…

MLB

Major League Baseball (MLB) teams have announced ticket refund policies for games not played through May due to the COVID-19 shutdown of sports.

Earlier this week, the league informed teams that they will be able to decide their own policies for ticket refunds, with the start of the 2020 season having been pushed back.

The MLB season had been due to get under way on March 26 but no games have been played yet because of the pandemic. So far, MLB has not set a target date for the start of the season, although no games have been officially cancelled.

The New York Yankees announced COVID-19 ticket policies that include a ticket rollover, credits, bonuses and refunds. It said in the event of an impacted game the team will provide a credit equal to the established price of the ticket to the impacted game originally purchased directly from the Yankees by season-ticket licensees, group ticket purchases and individual game suite purchases.

A release by the Yankees said: “At this time the only impacted games are home games originally scheduled to be played in April 2020.”

Season-ticket licensees at Yankee Stadium will automatically receive the impacted game credit, which can be used to buy tickets for another regular-season game through the end of 2021 regular season, toward the renewal of their 2021 season-ticket plan and/or tickets in accordance with the rain check policy through the end of next year’s regular season.

The Minnesota Twins announced it will credit season ticket holders for missed games, and provide an additional 15% credit for 2020 or 2021 purchases.

The Cleveland Indians said fans who had tickets for home games this March and April could receive a 10% bonus credit for a game later in 2020 or 2021. The Red Sox extended a similar bonus credit to season ticket holders.

“As we continue to evaluate possibilities for the 2020 season, it’s important that we provide options to our ticket buyers for games scheduled in April and May,” Red Sox president Sam Kennedy said in a statement. “We appreciate how patient our fans have been as we worked through the implications of the pandemic on our schedule.”

The St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Angels and Chicago Cubs have also announced COVID-19 ticket policies for games not played through May.

The Cubs are offering refunds for anyone holding a ticket for games through May or a credit for future games with 5% interest.

Last week, two disgruntled fans sued MLB after being denied refunds for postponed games. MLB, its 30 franchises, Ticketmaster, Live Nation, Last Minute Transactions and its ticket resale partner StubHub were all named in a class-action lawsuit, which was filed in a U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

Hungary’s large events

Hungary’s ban on large events of more than 500 people has been extended until August 15, despite the country easing other restrictions from May 4.

At a weekly press conference, Gergely Gulyás, Hungarian head of the Prime Minister’s Office, gave details about the country’s second phase of easing restrictions, which could include reopening zoos and open-air museums.

The ban extension has forced the cancellation of several events, including one of Europe’s largest festivals Sziget, which welcomes more than 90,000 people across its seven-day event.

Sziget 2020, scheduled for August 5-11, would have featured performances from artists including Calvin Harris, Stormzy, Kings of Leon and The Strokes.

The Budapest festival’s sister event, Balaton Sound, has also been postponed until 2021.

Boomtown

Boomtown has become the latest major UK festival to announce the cancellation of its 2020 edition due to COVID-19.

Tickets for the festival, which was scheduled to take place from August 12-16, will remain valid for the 2021 event, which has been rescheduled for August 11-1.

In order to receive a refund, ticketholders must apply for one by August 16. They will be issued from September.

Boomtown organisers said: “Over the past few months we have been keeping a close eye on expert advice from across the globe, as well as taking into consideration the timelines involved for safely planning and delivering the event.

“In addition, we’ve recently held close consultation with local agencies, and emergency services, to further understand the knock on effect of the current pressures on these vital services.

“This has led us to the decision that Boomtown 2020 will no longer go ahead.”

Image: Rudi Riet