INDIANAPOLIS — Baseball is back in Indy after taking a season off for the coronavirus. The Indians will have a 25% fan capacity for home games this season.
“It’s a long time coming. Indians baseball hasn’t taken place at Victory Field since August 31, 2019,” says Cheyne Reiter, Indians Director of Communications, “You miss competitive, live-action, you can’t replicate that in any way.”
The Indians are the AAA affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Some players who did not make the Pirates 40-man squad last year have been working odd jobs just to survive financially.
While the fan experience may not be the same, it’s still baseball.
“As you get into the park, stanchions on the concourse [will direct] one-way traffic going each direction. [If we] get into the concessions, [there will be] pre-packaged goods,” explains Reiter, “Masks are required as you come in to the stadium. Only way you can take your mask off is if you are eating or drinking.”
There will be digital ticketing this year. Tickets will be sold in groupings, and the outfield lawn will have spray-painted squares that are socially distanced. The home opener is May 11 against Toledo.
“As the summer progresses, and more people become vaccinated, hopefully, we can up that number a little bit,” wishes Reiter.
More central Indiana venues are announcing upcoming events as well. The Ruoff Music Center will host Dave Matthews Band in August, and the new TCU Amphitheater at White River State Park is expected to be done in mid-June.
“This is the beginning of what we hope is a true return to the energy and vitality of downtown,” adds Bob Schultz, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Downtown Indy Inc., “People are ready to be together in safe, social distanced spaces, but definitely in these outdoor entertainment arenas.”