Savannah Bananas preparing for first game of the season

Savannah Bananas preparing for first game of the season

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The 2020 season will begin in two days for the Savannah Bananas. But before the official start, the Bananas held a special game last week.

Preparations for Wednesday's season opener are still underway at Historic Grayson Stadium, but the team says the plan to host games with fans have been in place for several months.

Team owner Jesse Cole and President Jared Orton took WTOC on a tour of the stadium Monday afternoon, providing a look at what Banana fans should expect when they come to the ballpark this summer.

Several rows of bleachers have been roped off to keep folks from sitting back to back, and there are markings taped to help create distancing when in line to get in the ballpark or for concessions.

The team has hosted two events prior to Wednesday’s game; a high school all-star game and scrimmage game last week. Both with fans to have some run through with these plans in place. Cole said he feels like those went well.

How confident is the Bananas’ organization in the plan that people will be safe at the ballpark?

“Based on what the health department has told us, based on what the city has said, based on all the support we’ve had, I am very confident that we’ve done everything we can to create the safest environment for our fans,” Cole said.

Games will be played in front of half-capacity as the team participates in one of the only summer college leagues still running in 2020.

We are complying with the Mayor's orders meaning all fans entering the ballpark will be required to wear a mask. We are so excited to see all of our amazing fans tomorrow at Opening Night!

Posted by The Savannah Bananas on Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Cole and team president Jared Orton say the gameday changes start before fans enter the ballpark.

“They’re just getting that temperature check. Everything’s downloaded online. They scan their tickets digitally and then they’re into the park,” said Orton.

The team hosted two games with fans last week, which Cole and Orton say gave them a good run through of their plans in operation. It also gave a look at how the stadium will be distanced in the bleachers.

Orton says groups will be kept apart and back to back rows will be roped off.

“There’s two seats available here. There’s four seats available here. There’s two seats available here. This row is done for tonight, but you can go ahead and move up. So it’ll be a combination of our ushers and some signs and ropes to allow people to know where they need to sit.”

The Bananas will continue the all you can eat buffets, but fans will not serve themselves. Plexiglass dividers have been added to concession stands, and the team has added a mobile order and pickup option as well.

The team says they are confident in their plans to welcome people to the ball game.

“On what the health department has told us, based on what the city has said, based on all the support we’ve had, I am very confident that we’ve done everything we can to create the safest environment for our fans,” said Cole.

The 2020 season for the Bananas kicks off in less than two days when they host the rival Macon Bacon Wednesday night at Grayson Stadium. First pitch is set for 7:00 p.m.

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