The Richmond Flying Squirrels during the past five years averaged roughly 6,000 fans at The Diamond, which seats 9,560. The Double-A franchise is in the process of formulating a ticketing policy that will allow it to comply with Virginia and MLB pandemic restrictions while satisfying as many attendance requests as possible.
Gov. Ralph Northam announced Tuesday a loosening of state guidelines for outdoor entertainment and sports venues, with the 1,000-person maximum eliminated and the 30% capacity remaining.
The Flying Squirrels are scheduled to open their home schedule on May 4, with a capacity of about 3,000 socially distanced fans.
The percentage-of-capacity attendance guidelines could change before the season starts, and during the season, which will run later than usual this year (until Sept. 19) because of the later-than-usual start. MLB restrictions relate to social distancing at ballparks.
“We’re really excited about May 4. We’re really excited about baseball coming back. We’re really excited about the governor dropping the 1,000-person capacity and going with 30% for venues like ours, but we’re still working through the processes of getting to the point where we can put tickets on sale,” Todd Parnell, the Flying Squirrels CEO, said Wednesday. “So we ask for patience as we do that.”
“You can already feel around The Diamond the excitement for coming back. That’s going to permeate the entire community.”
The Flying Squirrels, while remaining an affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, are now members of the six-team Southwest Division of the Double-A Northeast. Teams in the Double-A Northeast are the same as the Eastern League membership in 2019, the last time the minor leagues played, with one exception. The Trenton Thunder were replaced by the Somerset (N.J.) Patriots. That franchise remains affiliated with the New York Yankees.