The Louisville Bats (Triple-A East) opened their 2021 campaign with construction underway at Louisville Slugger Field, before a crowd of 2,808 fans returning to the ballpark after a 600-plus-day hiatus.
Like their MiLB brethren, the Bats are facing reduced capacities due to COVID restrictions. The Bats are also operating with another restriction: Slugger Field is undergoing some $8 million in upgrades this year, a process that began in 2020. The upgrades are extensive–you can run down the list here–and will continue during the course of the season.
In the meantime, the Bats have a season to play, and fans to entertain. Despite the capacity limitations, Bats leadership sound pleased with how things went last night. From WAVE:
“After 18 months of not putting on a baseball game, it’s pretty exciting,” Executive Vice President of the Louisville Bats Greg Galiette said. “You can just feel the magic in the air. The buzz is back in town and we’re looking forward to putting on a great show.”…
“We have a brand new netting system,” Galiette explained. “It takes the safety net down both lines almost from foul pole to foul pole so fans can sit in safety and comfort, especially those parents with young children.”
Galiette said because COVID-19 canceled baseball last year, construction is ahead of schedule.