The Cleveland Indians had a busy past few days of baseball with two doubleheaders in two days.
The current series against the Chicago White Sox comes to a close Wednesday afternoon and normally, that would not be a cause for headlines.
But it sure is now that the Indians will return to full capacity at Progressive Field starting Wednesday.
Ohio in general is lifting its COVID-19 health orders June 2.
Back to full capacity at Progressive Field June 2! pic.twitter.com/GrISK9Fxgf
— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) May 18, 2021
Will This Be The Real Opening Day?
The Indians may have three “Opening Days” in 2021.
The first, obviously, came on actual Opening Day.
Next up comes Wednesday’s game, when the house could technically be packed.
However, it won’t be given the fact it is a Wednesday afternoon game.
Some fans may also not be aware of the changes, or may still be hesitant to attend a game when masks aren’t mandatory.
The real “Opening Day” or “Opening Day 2.0” will come June 11 when the Indians return home to take on the Seattle Mariners.
Hello, Cleveland! The @Indians will open Progressive Field to full capacity beginning June 2! 🙌@AshCollins, @AlPawlowski, and @JLEWFifty have some additional details on what's new at the ballpark.#OurCLE pic.twitter.com/At0q0RYWVA
— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) May 19, 2021
That is a Friday night game back at full capacity and fans have well over a week to make plans to attend the weekend series.
The Friday night game is also the start of a seven-game homestand in what should hopefully be a week of great weather.
Having a different type of Opening Day atmosphere will be nice compared to the usual terrible April weather.
It just remains to be seen if fans will indeed show up in full force as health orders in general are lifted all at once.
Trying To Return To Normal
It would be foolish to think everything will turn perfectly back to normal, or whatever that means, on June 2.
But Progressive Field was going to open back up at some point and that is the day.
The key thing for fans to remember is that masks will be optional at the games.
So if someone is not comfortable with that, that is something to keep in mind.
Let’s shift to a strictly baseball perspective here.
It will be nice to have a normal atmosphere at the game for the first time since the 2019 season.
The players may even do a double or triple-take the first time they hear that loud applause once again.
This remains a state-by-state issue, and the Indians will be one of the teams with the ability to play in front of a full stadium.
That is also good news for Browns and Cavaliers fans who are ready for the respective upcoming seasons.
It will likely take some time for Progressive Field to truly get back to a true sense of “normal,” where all fans feel comfortable attending.
But Wednesday is the first step and June 11 will be an indication of how many fans the team can expect moving forward.