Play ball! The Cleveland Indians are back at Progressive Field as the 2021 home opener takes place Monday afternoon against the Kansas City Royals. Coverage begins at 2 p.m. on WKYC Channel 3 with first pitch slated for 4:10 p.m.
What else can you expect from the game this year? What's new at the ballpark at what COVID-19 safety precautions will impact fans attending games in-person? Here's a guide to everything you need to know...
Watching on TV: Subtitle here
How can I watch?
The game will air on WKYC Channel 3 with coverage as follows:
- 2 p.m. Indians Opening Day 2021 special
- 3 p.m. Indians On Deck
- 4 p.m. Indians vs. Royals at Progressive Field.
What time is first pitch?
- Logan Allen takes the mound for the Cleveland Indians.
- Danny Duffy is pitching for the Royals.
Opening Day moments: Subtitle here
Honoring Cleveland legends
The Indians will pay tribute to two Cleveland icons during the home opener.
A moment of silence will be held for legendary Cavaliers broadcaster Joe Tait. The team will also honor Cleveland rocker Michael Stanley by playing his hit "My Town."
Both passed away last month.
Filling in for drummer John Adams
The beat of his drum is something Indians fans have adored for decades. Due to health issues, however, John Adams will miss his first opening day since 1973.
But his drum won't be silenced. Instead, Black Keys' drummer and Akron native Patrick Carney is stepping in to drum for Adams.
Opening Day weather forecast: Subtitle here
We're keeping a close eye on some incoming rain that could impact the game. 3News' Jason Frazer has the hour-by-hour details for what all fans can expect:
Changes at Progressive Field: Subtitle here
There are some changes fans need to know before entering the ballpark this year...
What time do gates open?
One hour before first pitch.
All tickets will be done through mobile entry only.
"Fans will be able to access and manage their tickets via the Ballpark app, My Indians Tickets account or the StubHub app," the Indians said. "Screenshots and PDFs will no longer be acceptable forms of entry."
Updated bag policy
No bags will be permitted "to speed up ballpark entry." Exceptions will be made for medical bags, diaper bags and clutch purses (nothing larger than 9"x5"x2"). Fanny packs and hip packs with a strap are also permitted.
Jim Beam Bourbon Bar
Located in the Left Field District, this new spot will feature Jim Beam's portfolio of bourbon brands.
"New baseball themed cocktails will roll out throughout the season in addition to their signature cocktail, the Jim Beam High Ball."
Fans will get their first look at the extended netting that was installed prior to the 2020 baseball season.
"The new netting extends down both foul lines, going to section 128 in the Right Field corner and to section 174 in the Left Field corner," the Indians explain.
Prior to the 2020 season, a pair of new escalators were installed at Progressive Field (RF District, Infield District).
COVID-19 safety measures: Subtitle here
If you're planning to attend one of the games in-person at Progressive Field, here are the changes you can expect as a result of COVID-19...
The Cleveland Indians are currently capped at 30% capacity, but that number could change based on Ohio's COVID-19 data.
All fans will be required to wear a face covering at all times while in the ballpark unless they are actively eating or drinking in ticketed seats.
Acceptable masks are listed as follows:
- Double-layered cloth masks
- Surgical masks
- Dust masks
- N95 masks without vents
Unacceptable masks are listed as follows:
- Sheer masks
- Masks with valves
Other COVID-19 safety protocols
- Reduced concession stands due to limited ballpark capacity. The Indians say the number of concession stands will be limited to 40 in April. Among those that will remain open include, Ballpark Classics, Fat Rooster, Forest City BBQ, Throwing Smoke BBQ and nine locally based eateries like Melt, Dante's and Ohio City Burrito.
- Social distancing encouraged throughout the ballpark.
- Cashless transactions encouraged at all food and retail locations.
- Increased hand sanitization stations.
- High-touch surfaces will be cleaned frequently.
- Food and beverage consumption will be confined to ticketed seating or designated standing space.
- Kids Clubhouse and Family Deck activities are closed.
- Terrace Club will be closed to all fans to start the season.
Read more HERE.
Moving forward: Subtitle here
With a team name change imminent, the Cleveland Indians are continuing to distance themselves from racially insensitive images connected to Native Americans. That's why the team has announced a ban on headdresses and face paint "styled in a way that references or appropriates American Indian cultures and traditions."
Anybody in violation of this new policy faces ejection or refusal of admission.
Starting lineup: Subtitle here
Here's the current lineup for the Cleveland Indians: