While the 2020 Minor League Baseball season was declared a wash at the end of June, the Great Falls Voyagers front office is still finding ways to put Centene Stadium to use this summer.
Movie night, yoga classes, and of course, and Independence Day fireworks are on the docket for the dog days of July through August, but they won’t look exactly like you might be used to.
“There’s limited tickets available inside the stadium,” said Voyagers Team President Scott Reasoner. “We can only have about 300-400 people inside the ballpark. We worked hand in hand with the county to put together social distancing and different guidelines, so a different procedure when you come to the ballpark.”
Tickets are $5 and available through the Voyagers Facebook page as well as their website, and there is a benefit to purchasing tickets ahead of time as opposed to at the window. When you arrive at the ballpark, you’ll be asked to fill out some basic information. The Voyagers staff will keep that in file to provide to the County for contact tracing, should someone who attends one of the events test positive for COVID-19. If you buy your tickets online, however, your information will be on file already, and you should be able to skip this step. The next three steps can’t be circumvented though.
After providing your information, visitors will have the option to pick up a mask if you didn’t bring your own. According to Reasoner, masks are recommended, but not required at these events. Then there will be a required step, washing your hands at one of the many handwashing stations that will be set up around Centene Stadium.
“Everything is going to be a little different, obviously,” Reasoner explained. “The first thing we’ve done is we’ve taken our attendance way, way, way below to about 10% or way less than we could normally hold out here. That’s so we can create different areas so people can really spread out and enjoy their time outside. You’ll see all of our staff will be in baseball and Voyager masks ready to go.”
Food and drinks will be available at the stadium, but even that will look a little different. The team is only opening their outdoor concession stand, which sits on the third baseline. Also, instead of having separate lines for each register, there will only be one entrance and one exit for anyone getting concessions, and markings on the ground to help people socially distance themselves while in line.
Even through all the restrictions, and the process of working with local health officials to make sure that a socially distanced, health-conscious fireworks night was possible, Reasoner said he’s just excited to see people back in the stadium this summer.
“A huge thank you, first, to the City of Great Falls, the Park and Rec Foundation, as well as Jimmy and Debby Filipowicz with Steel Etc. that are allowing us to keep doing fireworks out here at the ballpark,” he said with a smile on his face. “Come on out, it’s a great procedure. Our staff will be smiling at you. You won’t be able to because they’ll have masks on, but they’ll be smiling out there and welcome you back to the ballpark. We’re just really excited. We’ve had one big event already here (on Thursday), so we’re just excited to have people out to the stadium.”
If you weren’t able to snag a ticket to Fireworks and Family Fun Night, Scott says you can park in the IGA parking lot and watch from there. The Voyagers plan to start shooting off their fireworks at the exact same time as the city show at West Bank Park. Both shows should be getting under way around 10:30 P.M.