Savannah Bananas to open season at home with reduced capacity

Updated: May. 16, 2021 at 12:10 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - In just under two weeks, the Savannah Bananas open their 2021 campaign at home against their rival the Macon Bacon. With new CDC guidelines on wearing face masks and some Major League Baseball stadiums opening up to full capacity, WTOC spoke with the team about what fans can expect when they head back to Historic Grayson Stadium.

Capacity for May and June games will be held at 75 percent, accommodating around 3,000 fans. Since the Savannah’s City Council voted to extend the city’s mask ordinance through Monday, May 31, masks will be required for at least the first two Bananas home games.

“Fortunately, we did this last year, super limited capacity, we tested some things in the spring,” said Jared Orton, president of the Savannah Bananas. “A little more bit more people, about fifty percent, and then obviously, there’s been the Braves playing games, there’s been basketball games, there’s been other baseball games. People are moving in the right direction, people are getting vaccinated, so we feel like, all right, the horizon looks promising, can we keep inching up? I don’t think it’s wise that we just go 100 percent on opening day no matter what. I think if we can continue to inch up, show people that hey, you’re safe here, Grayson Stadium is a great place, we’re outside in beautiful Savannah, but we’re going to inch up towards full capacity.”

The hope is that when tickets go on sale for July and August, the Bananas will see a true sellout.

The Coastal Plain League will have all seven teams back this summer, and the Macon Bacon recently announced they’re going to play home games at full capacity. But the Bananas say they’re in no rush, and they’ve seen people eager to visit the Hostess City and Historic Grayson Stadium, even with restrictions in place.

“We put our tickets on sale for the June games just a couple of weeks ago, and there were people from Washington, there were people from Alaska. There was 30 different states represented,” said Orton. “People want to come to Savannah. They’re excited to come to Savannah. They want to come to Bananas games. They want to come to the city, and let’s have fun with it. And at some point, when we get to July and August, if we can have 4,000 people out here, then there’s going to be even more people coming. But I’m excited to kind of work through that. Our staff is ready. You know, if we have to wear masks every single game this summer, we’ll do that.”

The Bananas open the season on May 27, and players begin arriving in Savannah next weekend.

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