Goldeyes returning to Winnipeg in August, pending OK from Manitoba Public Health
Home opener set for Aug. 3 would mark team’s 1st game back in almost 2 years
The Winnipeg Goldeyes will soon return to their home stadium for the first time in nearly two years, as long as the team's plan to bring baseball back to Shaw Park gets final approval from Manitoba Public Health.
The official home opener is set for Aug. 3 — the team's first time back since Sept. 2, 2019, the Goldeyes said in a news release on Thursday.
Under Manitoba's latest changes to public health orders, large outdoor professional sports and performing arts events are allowed to operate at up to 100 per cent capacity — as long as public health approves their individual plans.
A provincial spokesperson said public health is almost done with its review of the Goldeyes' plan and will get back to the team once that review is final.
The Goldeyes are the only Canadian organization in the 12-team American Association of Professional Baseball.
The league's season started on May 18, with the Winnipeg team playing its home games in Jackson, Tenn., amid continuing closures at the international border because of COVID-19.
Last season, the same closures forced the Goldeyes to play their home games in Fargo, N.D.
Fans must be fully vaccinated
The Goldeyes say they have received permission to operate Shaw Park at full capacity, as long as all fans in attendance are fully vaccinated.
Once the team moves its home games back to Winnipeg, all Goldeyes players and coaches and those from visiting teams will need to be at least two weeks past their final COVID-19 vaccine dose when they arrive in Canada, the release says. Hub protocols will also be in place for the teams.
Fans under age 12, who aren't yet eligible to get their shots, have to be with a vaccinated adult at a one-to-one ratio. They'll also need to wear masks, the release says.
Everyone will need to wear masks in all the stadium's indoor spaces, including the box office, washrooms and merchandise store. Masks are also encouraged on the concourse and in the seating bowl, the release said.
A total of 20 regular season home games have been added to the team's remaining schedule, the release says. There have also been a few other tweaks to the Jackson-based schedule initially announced in May.
The team plans to contact people who have season tickets and mini packs with ticket options for the rest of the season. They will get first crack at seat choices, while tickets will go on sale to the general public at 9 a.m. on July 27, the release says.
With files from Caitlyn Gowriluk and Darren Bernhardt