VISALIA, California (KSEE) – It’s the first day back for the Visalia Rawhide at the newly named Valley Strong ballpark and COVID regulations are, of course, in place, but the owner says the anticipation is making them stronger.
“The last 12 months were great in some respects, in some ways, we wouldn’t have it any other way because it makes us appreciate that much more where we’re at and then who we are right now,” said Sam Sigal, the president, and owner of the Visalia Rawhide.
“It’s been hard not to have people here for 599 days. 2020 was a wash, but we’re so excited to have people back even though it’s gonna look a little bit different, it’s still baseball and…It’s things that people are used to and hey in 2020 if you said if you want to come to a baseball game all you have to do is wear a mask, everyone would have done it,” said Jill Gearin, the Director of Broadcasting for the Visalia Rawhide.
The ballpark is able to welcome back 33% of the total capacity which is around 700 people, masks are required when not eating or drinking, fans will find hand sanitizing stations, and will need to be socially distanced. The seats are zip-tied off to help with that six feet of distance.
“And to have that be the first thing that some people may congregate on as far as mass gathering again. That’s really special that it is baseball and it is here in Visalia and it does make it again that much more special,” said Sigal.