PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — For the first time since September 2019, baseball will soon return to Comstock Park.
The West Michigan Whitecaps have announced that a limited number of individual game tickets will be available online starting April 21.
“The excitement in the front office and for our operations staff is at fever pitch right now,” said Steve VanWagoner, the Whitecaps’ director of marketing and media relations.
But it will be a much different feel at the ballpark, which was renamed LMCU Ballpark after Lake Michigan Credit Union picked up the naming rights this season.
Like all big league venues, masks will be required when fans aren’t in their seats.
Most major league teams are requiring fans to fill out an app-based health evaluation before they can attend a game. Whitecaps management is still considering ideas on screening fans.
Seating will be limited to 20% capacity. When combining seating in the suites, stands and on the lawn, that amounts to space for about 2,000 fans.
Like big league ballparks, seating this season will be grouped into pods.
“When we say the word pod, we’re talking about grouping of fans,” VanWagoner said.
In most cases, four to six fans will be in the pods.
“It’s quite a process. But we’re being very deliberate about how we’re keeping people distanced in the ballpark,” VanWagoner said.
There will be a full concessions menu.
“We’re going to be really contentious about lines, about spacing,” VanWagoner said. “People eating at their seats and not in the ballpark, but at their seats. When they move around the ballpark, they’ll be required to wear a mask.”
Fan interaction has always been a big part of the fan experience at LMCU Ballpark. That too will change.
“It’ll look different. We can’t be on the field to start with. But we will be entertaining,” VanWagoner said.
A full list of protocols at LMCU Ballpark can be found on the Whitecaps’ website.
The first game is scheduled for May 11. And while the experience may be different, team officials say they’ll still have plenty to offer fans.
Along with a new name for the ballpark, play on the field should improve after MLB elevated the Whitecaps from A ball to High-A level.
“It’s a whole new brand of baseball,” VanWagoner said. “But the Whitecaps are here to remind West Michigan that baseball’s coming. And we couldn’t be more thrilled.”