GRAND CHUTE, Wis. (WFRV) – As Spring Training gets underway, that means baseball is closer to returning to Northeast Wisconsin in 2021.
After a disappointing 2020 season for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, that completely wiped out the Minor League Baseball season, the organization realizes how important the community is to the team and is excited to get fans back in the ballpark for the 2021 season.
“It was so tough. Minor League Baseball, we’re 100 percent relying on people being in the ballpark, ticket sales, concessions, merchandise, fan in the seats”, says Vice President Ryan Moede.
As the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers prepare for the 2021 season, the home opener is scheduled on Tuesday, May 4. MLB has mandated rules for the month of May.
Among those rules include pod seating that will make up 25 percent capacity, fans that enter the stadium must wear masks, and a buffer zone around the dugout that will allow 12 feet distance from the fans and players.
The Timber Rattlers front office is optimistic about the months after May.
“We are hopeful and optimistic that once we get past May, we can open things up and start to get more fans in the ballpark but we’re prepared to make sure we’re following any rules that put upon us by MLB”, says Moede.
With the recent schedule release for the Timber Rattlers’ 2021 season, the organization is just so happy that they’ll get to see fans in the stands. It’s something that players are anxious to see after a year of sitting out.
“A lot of these guys, they sat around. They didn’t play any games for an entire year as well. So I know they’re ready to go. They’ll be at Spring Training here in just a few weeks and then coming up to Appleton”, explains Moede. “We will be the High-A Affiliate now which hopefully some higher level players as well. So I know our fans will see a higher quality baseball than ever before.”
The organization tells Local 5 they’re ready to get the season going and doing it in a safe way for the community and their fans.
“We’re excited. We’re counting down the days until Opening Day”, Moede says.