NORFOLK, Va. - Like the recent weather, the mood at Harbor Park has been gloomy with no baseball to be found since the 2019 season.
But, brighter days are on the horizon because on Thursday the Norfolk Tides officially leave a baseball-less year in the past and announce their 2021 schedule.
"We’ve been preparing and getting the stadium ready, but actually having the schedule in front of us now gives us a date that we know we can hopefully get some fans back in Harbor Park,” Tides general manager Joe Gregory said.
Just as a batter isn't complete without both a pitcher and catcher, game day doesn't feel complete without both the players and fans who cheer them on. This season's attendance number is still up in the air as the Tides formulate a plan that follows COVID-19 restrictions, but they hope to welcome back as many fans as possible when Norfolk hosts the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp in its April 13th home opener just a week after the Tides season opener in Nashville.
"We’re actually working with the governor now trying to come up with some percentage-based approach, whatever that percent is, because we are working on making Harbor Park a safe place for fans to come,” said Gregory, who tells News 3's Megan Plain that the team has been working with the City of Norfolk for months to implement new safety precautions at the stadium. "All the doors now are touchless, all the water fountains are touchless, the faucets and everything, so we’re trying to make everything as touchless as possible."