Play ball, redux.
When normal veered into foul territory last year, so did the Lansing Lugnuts’ 25th anniversary plans. All minor league play was suspended as the pandemic unfolded over the spring.
Yet a new season brings new changes for the team. The Lugnuts are now an Oakland Athletics affiliate playing in the recently rechristened Jackson Field with a detailed plan to keep everyone safe in the midst of the pandemic. The team is also now a High-A operation, meaning players have more experience.
“It’s been over 500 days since the last Lugnuts game, and we’re pumped to welcome fans back and kick off the 2021 season,” said general manager Tyler Parsons.
The season opener is slated for May 4.
“While it is starting a little later, we are also extending into September longer than normal,” Parsons said.
And while baseball fans are ready to get back to enjoying the national pastime in person, Jackson Field is not solely dedicated to baseball.
“We get the opportunity to bring other outdoor events that the community can come out for,” said Greg Kigar, assistant general manager of stadium events and operations. “Whether it’s a Nitro Circus or music concert or things like the beerfest or chili cook-off, it brings our community together.
“The community aspect is so important to us,” Kigar continued. “Again, 2020 is an example. Lemonade League baseball, outdoor movie nights — this was a way to reach out and give people the opportunity to come to the ballpark and is another way to use the stadium.”
To view the team’s COVID-19 readiness plan, visit ww2.lansinglugnuts.com/LL_21_COVID_PLAN.pdf.