COLUMBUS (WCMH) — After the pandemic scrapped their 2020 season, the Columbus Clippers are ready to take the field for 2021, complete with fans at Huntington Park.

The Clippers announced Thursday that they will allow a limited number of fans for home games when they begin a series of exhibitions next week. All exhibition tickets will cost $5, and the Clippers’ plan is to start out slowly, with no more than 1,000 fans at first, and work to build up capacity ahead of the regular-season home opener May 11.

“We are purposely going to start this process slowly so we can be absolutely sure we are following protocols,” Clippers president and general manager Ken Schnacke said.

There will be seven exhibition games from April 16 to 22, and another set is planned from April 27 to May 1. Here is the schedule for the first homestand, with the schedule for the second homestand yet to come:

  • Friday, April 16: Indianapolis, 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 17: Indianapolis, 2 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 18: Indianapolis, 2 p.m.
  • Monday, April 19: Indianapolis, 2 p.m.
  • Tuesday, April 20: Louisville, 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 21: Louisville, 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 22: Louisville, 2 p.m.

For each exhibition game, gates will open only 30 minutes before the first pitch.

Season ticket holders who held their seats over from 2020 will be given first priority for tickets. Available tickets will be sold to the public online or through telephone orders only, with no ability to buy tickets at the gate. All tickets will be electronic to promote as much of a touchless experience as possible.

The number of fans at each game will be determined based on seating pod configurations. Under state health orders, groups of up to 10 people may be seated together, and all groups must be 6 feet apart. Masks will be required at all times unless a person is eating or drinking, which must be done while seated.

Concession stands will offer a limited menu, and bags and coolers will not be allowed — other than diaper bags, medical bags and clutches. Fans may bring in bottled water.

Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. Wednesday.