Copeland Park to have 100 percent capacity for Loggers games in 2021

Games were held at 50 percent capacity in 2020

 

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – When fans walk through the front gates at Copeland Park for the La Crosse Loggers home opener in just a few weeks, the stands are going to be packed with fans.

Time is fast approaching for Loggers players to hit the field and fans return to the ballpark.

“It’s a lot more exciting, a lot more just optimistic that this year is going to look a lot different than a year ago,” Loggers general manager Ben Kapanke said.

2020 is a year Kapanke would like to put behind him.

“It was a unique experience obviously,” Kapanke said.

The ballpark was at half capacity, wiped down every inning, and fans were masked up.

This year, some of those protocols will be more relaxed.

“It’s a different ballgame altogether,” Kapanke said.

The plan is to have 100 percent capacity for games.

“If people want to come to the ballpark and take in a Logger game, we’re not going to turn people away,” Kapanke said.

Kapanke says there’s more space throughout the stadium for distancing if fans aren’t comfortable in the grandstands.

“They want to come back to the ballpark,” Kapanke said. “They’re ready.”

Masks won’t be required, but are encouraged.

“We want people to come to the games, and enjoy the games on their own comfort level,” Kapanke said.

Kapanke says he hopes the games help people get back into the swing of things.

“Our message is the traditions are back,” he said.

Like the dizzy bat races and the ceremonial first pitch.

“That’s what gets the fans going,” Kapanke said. “That’s what gets us going.”

And so does seeing a packed crowd watching their favorite team play ball, a home run for La Crosse’s baseball franchise.

“The fans are ready,” Kapanke said. “And that’s the main thing. We want to be able to have events with lots of people here.”

If you’re not a baseball fan but are wondering if there’s going to be other events like concerts, Kapanke says he assures you that will happen by late summer or early fall.

The Loggers say they expect regular food items will be back on the menu.

The team’s home-opener is on June 2. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. against the Minnesota Mud Puppies.