COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Columbus Clippers have been postponed even before their season has begun.
A team official confirmed to NBC4 on Wednesday morning that the start of their season will be postponed from April 6 to May 4 in line with a move for all of the minor leagues announced Tuesday by Commissioner Rob Manfred.
The Clippers’ season will now begin on the road against Louisville, with the first home game on Tuesday, May 11 against Omaha. The team will play 120 games, with half of them at Huntington Park.
In a statement, the team listed two reasons for the change in the schedule:
- The cost of having Triple-A teams become COVID-19 compliant since they fly commercial and use buses to get to road games
- Baseball’s hope that that all players at spring training in Arizona and Florida can get vaccinated before departing in late March
The Clippers say they are working with state and city health officials on meeting COVID-19 protocols to have fans at Huntington Park at about 30% of capacity, which would be about 3,000 fans per game. A team representative said the Clippers may benefit from the extra time before the start of the season as vaccine becomes more widely available and health orders may be adjusted.
The team is working on releasing an updated schedule. Games from April 6 to May 2 on the original schedule that was released Tuesday are being removed, with games at St. Paul on July 13 and 14 being added.
The minor leagues have been realigned starting this season, with the Clippers in the Triple-A East’s Midwest Division with Indianapolis, Iowa, Louisville, Omaha, St. Paul and Toledo.