PEORIA, Ill (WMBD) – The Peoria Chiefs will take the field this year for the first time since 2019, and it will also mark the return of fans in the stands at the ballpark.
After COVID-19 shuttered the 2020 Minor League Baseball season, the general manager of the Peoria Chiefs said the focus shifted to this year.
“We made those changes and did what we had to because we expected to be back in 2021 baseball-wise,” said Jason Mott, Peoria Chiefs GM.
This week, the team announced 20% capacity will be allowed in Dozer Park’s’ seating bowl, along with 10 guests for each suite.
“This is the fun part, getting to play and everything and we can tell the excitement is there. People are excited for baseball to be back,” Mott said.
Mott said fans are what drive revenue for the organization.
“Fans are really where we make our money. Fans ticket sales, sponsors, and all that. No fans means no sponsors,” he said.
The president of Discover Peoria said the city will also benefit by baseball’s return.
“One, it’s an attraction to visitors to come and visit and spend some money and enjoy America’s pastime here in the River City. Two, our residents to get enjoy this as well, even at limited capacity there’s ways to enjoy baseball,” said J.D. Dalfonso, President/CEO of Discover Peoria.
Finding ways to welcome people to Dozer Park when the Chiefs are on the road is another goal for Mott moving forward.
“High school baseball games, to movie nights. If you name it we’re probably going to try it,” he said.
Masks and distancing will be required at Dozer Park.
The Chiefs first home game is May 11, when the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers come into town.
Mott said ticket packages are available now, and information on individual tickets will be released at a later date.