FLORENCE, Ky. — Following two months of virus-related restrictions, baseball returned to the commonwealth.

What You Need To Know

  • Baseball returns to Kentucky

  • Teams prepare for the Battle of the Bourbon Trail

  • Games are at limited capacity, along with other health guidelines

  • Opening game is Friday, July 31

For fans, teams and organizations, the long wait is coming to an end as they get ready for the Battle of the Bourbon Trail.

“Finally, I think it’s spring. We’ve been waiting all year for spring to come, and now spring’s here, so for us, baseball means spring, and it means it’s going to be better weather and even though it’s in July, it’s great baseball weather,” said Tim Eversole from Covington.

He, along with many others, attended the exhibition game between the Florence Y’alls and Freedom Wednesday after passing the temperature checks before entry.

“I miss sports a lot, so I just wanted to come watch people play again,” said Ethan James from Florence who chose to support local sports teams.

The exhibition game is in preparation for the Battle of the Bourbon Trail made up of four teams: two from Lexington and two from Florence.

But unlike other seasons, the pandemic has changed the approach to opening day so that safety is a top priority.

“State of Kentucky says we’re allowed up to 50 percent capacity in the ballpark, that’s thousands of people. Honestly, we don’t believe we will have that many people for the main reason to seat everyone socially distant, every safely distant,” said David Delbello, owner and president of the Florence Y’alls.

He expects, at most, their capacity will reach 35 to 40 percent.

“When people in their seats, it’s going to be normal. You don’t need a mask, can sit there and enjoy the game with your family, however, once you get up, you walk back to the concourse, you go to the restroom, you want to stand in line at concessions, you must have a mask on, and that’s going to be the biggest hurdle that I think everyone’s going to have to overcome,” Delbello said.

For fans, it will mean watching a ballgame for the next seven weeks.

Opening day is Friday evening. The game is expected to start at 7:05 p.m. in Florence.