Canaries putting in finishing touches ahead of their season opener


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — After almost not having a season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canaries, and five other American Association baseball teams will compete this year. With the season opener just 10 days away, the Birds are busy getting the Birdcage ready for some baseball.

With the return of baseball just around the corner, crews are putting the finishing touches on the Birdcage.

“Everything was tee’d up and ready to go, everything was just on hold, so now it’s just a matter of getting the I’s dotted, and T’s crossed, and get ready to play ball,” Canaries General Manager Duell Higbe said.

Though baseball will be back, there will be plenty of noticeable changes when fans visit the park. Capacity will be limited to 50 percent, and social distancing measures have been installed.

“Every other row is going to be blocked off. We’re going to have every other stairwell that’s going to be open, one’s going to be closed. The one’s that are open, we’re going to have two seats on either side of the stairwell that are blocked off as well to allow for that six foot rule,” Higbe said.

To avoid long lines at the concession stands, the Canaries are offering cashless, and contact-less options.

“We’ll have a mobile phone app partnering with FanFood. You’re going to be able to order directly from your seat, skip the lines, go to our pick-up window and pick up your food or beverage right there,” Higbe said.

It won’t just be the Birds playing at the Birdcage this summer either, as it’ll serve as the home ballpark for the St. Paul Saints too.

“We will not be sharing the same locker rooms. Our home clubhouse is our home clubhouse. St. Paul is obviously partnering with a local hotel, they’re going to spend most their time there. Likely use the visitor’s side a little bit, but it’ll be a learning experience for everybody. We’ll kind of figure it out on the fly,” Higbe said.

The Canaries season opener is set for Friday July 3rd against the St. Paul Saints. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

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