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Grizzlies Tell Hertz to Park for Free at the Stadium



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Today was supposed to be a scheduled off-day for the Fresno Grizzlies. The only sign of activity was construction workers engaging in a solar project on the outside of the stadium.

“Hertz did not have enough space for all their rental cars, so we used the backlot at Chukchansi Park to store the extra cars. We are so glad to help Hertz and the rest of our partners in any way we can.” — Grizzlies spokesman Stephen Rice

The Triple-A affiliate of the World Series champion Washington Nationals has had many off-days this season. Already, 19 home games and counting have been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But even though players haven’t even been assigned to the Grizzlies, the player’s parking lot is full — approximately 50 vans, sedans, and other vehicles are stationed in the area behind center field off of Inyo Street.

With baseball shuttered by MLB, the Grizzlies are making use of their empty space, allowing Hertz to park surplus cars in the lot.

“In a time like this, it is really important to help out our community and our partners. Hertz did not have enough space for all their rental cars, so we used the backlot at Chukchansi Park to store the extra cars. We are so glad to help Hertz and the rest of our partners in any way we can,” Grizzlies spokesman Stephen Rice said.

The Grizzlies aren’t charging the rental car company to use the space.

The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are using their southern California stadiums to park unused new and rental cars. The Los Angeles Times reports that a slowdown in travel and new car sales have led to an excess of vehicles, and limited places to store them.

Still Paying Rent

Although the team can’t hold any games, Rice says the Grizzlies are still paying their annual $500,000 rent.

The ballpark is considered nonessential by state and local regulations. Gov. Gavin Newsom indicated this week that professional sports could resume — without fans — the first or second week of June.

“With our business model, it’s really a nonstarter,” Jeff Lantz, MiLB’s senior director of communications, told The Sacramento Bee. “Our teams need the gates open and (people) in seats with a beer in one hand and a hotdog in the other, just to survive. If we play games but don’t open the gates, that’s zero revenue. It’s just not feasible with our business model.”

MLB has not announced any formal plans to resume, meaning there are no plans for the minors either.

Chukchansi Park sits mostly empty. Team staff is working from home. Grizzlies groundskeepers keep the field maintained.

The team is asking fans to honor a first responder or healthcare professional. The winner receives a free weekend rental from Hertz. Nominations can be made through Tuesday, May 26, at this link.


Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email