OHIO — Ohio’s five remaining minor league baseball teams are set to return after a 20-month hiatus. The season begins tonight throughout minor league baseball.
The ballparks were empty last season as coronavirus concerns forced the cancellation of the entire minor league baseball season. Additionally, MLB, which provides players and coaches for the minor league system, ended agreements with teams across the country.
One of those teams, the Mahoney Valley Scrappers, was eliminated from the minor league system. The Scrappers will begin participating in the MLB Draft League, which begins Memorial Day weekend.
The shakeup in minor league baseball means the five remaining teams will be in new leagues beginning with the 2021 season.
Other changes for the 2021 season:
- The traditional early April to Labor Day schedule was pushed back due to the coronavirus. Games will begin tonight and run through mid-September.
- Games will be played in six-game series.
- Monday will be a universal off day in minor league baseball.
Stadiums will have standard social distancing protocols in place at the start of the season. Masks will be required except when actively eating and drinking.
Here is what to expect at Ohio’s five minor league baseball stadiums:
The Clippers hosted a number of alternative site games with a capacity of 500-1,000 fans in Huntington Park. The Clippers said that tickets will be sold on a month-to-month basis with seats during the month of May being sold in pods. Tickets for games in May went on sale April 29.
Capacity: 30% (up to 4,000 fans)
The Mud Hens said that capacity for games at Fifth Third Field will vary “depending on how seating pods are sold.” Fans will be put into pods of up to six per group, and all seating is assigned. A limited number of tickets are available for the first two homestands in May.
Capacity: 47% (3,600 fans)
The RubberDucks have released tickets to the first two homestands of the season. The team will have pods of two, four, six or eight seats available for fans.
Capacity: 30% (roughly 2,500 fans)
The Dragons will put fans into pods of up to six people, spacing pods a minimum of 6 feet apart. Single-game tickets went on sale Monday.
Capacity: 41% (3,000 fans)
The Captains will restrict fans from sitting in the front few rows and interacting with players. Pods will be spaced at a minimum of 6 feet apart. Tickets for games in May and June went on sale April 30.