COMSTOCK PARK — The West Michigan Whitecaps announced plans for public ticket sales as the organization prepares for the return of minor league baseball for the first time in more than 620 days.
The Whitecaps, a Minor League affiliate for the Detroit Tigers, will begin selling single-game tickets to the general public at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, April 21. Tickets will be available for the team’s 24 home games throughout May and June.
The Whitecaps kick off the new season May 4 on the road against the Fort Wayne TinCaps. The Whitecaps’ first home game is slated for May 11 against the Great Lakes Loons.
The Whitecaps expect up to “a few hundred” of limited tickets to be available for home games based on COVID-19 restrictions. Fans must purchase tickets online through the team’s website.
“The demand for Whitecaps tickets has been growing especially since Major League Baseball started,” Dan Morrison, vice president of sales for the Whitecaps, said in a statement. “We know West Michigan is ready for Whitecaps baseball. We’re grateful we have a few seats to offer for the first couple months of the summer and have no doubt they will be gone quickly.”
In order to comply with current health and safety regulations, the Whitecaps will offer a noticeably different game day experience, beginning with the fact that current capacity is capped at 2,000 fans per game.
Steve VanWagoner, director of marketing and media relations for the Whitecaps, told MiBiz that the organization expects the number of fans allowed in to go up as more favorable weather moves in and vaccinations continue to roll out.
“The game experience will look different to start the year,” VanWagoner said. “The on-field shenanigans won’t be taking place but we will be entertaining with live performances, giveaways, great food and beverages.”
A full list of health and safety protocols for Whitecaps games is available here.
The Whitecaps have not taken the field since its 2019 season, a year before the 2020 season was canceled during the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the organization has undergone some big changes during that period of dormancy.
In the winter of 2020, the Detroit Tigers re-arranged its Minor League hierarchy of affiliates, designating the Whitecaps as the franchise’s High-A affiliate. This designation means higher skilled players on the Whitecaps’ roster.
Also, the Whitecaps’ home ballpark — formerly known as Fifth Third Ballpark — changed names as part of a multi-year partnership with Lake Michigan Credit Union. Now called LMCU Ballpark, the organization is in the process of installing new signage in center field and along US-131.