Take Me Back to the Ballgame
When you think of Greater Des Moines (DSM) and baseball, you think of Principal Park, right? Or you may still fondly refer to it as Sec Taylor Stadium. Des Moines has supported Triple-A baseball at the confluence of the Raccoon and Des Moines Rivers since 1969. As DSM has grown and morphed, one thing has stayed the same: Iowa Cubs baseball. Well, until 2020.
2020 was full of the unexpected and the postponement and cancellation of sports was something most of us never thought we’d see. The Iowa Cubs front office was running full-steam ahead and one month away from Opening Day when the world came to a screeching halt in March. After navigating a full 18 months without I-Cubs baseball at Principal Park, we are excited to be back in action in 2021.
If you follow professional baseball closely, you will have noticed some new phrases like ‘Professional Development Contract’ and ‘Professional Development League.’ The relationship between major and minor league baseball is one big ‘it’s complicated’ situation and a bit too complex to detail here. What it comes down to is that what goes on behind the curtain for the Iowa Cubs has changed. We have some new bosses to report to and new rules and protocols to follow. The fans will notice changes around the ballpark in 2021, but we expect that the new additions will fade into the background.
Changes for Iowa Cubs Fans in 2021
Here are a few things that will be different in 2021:
The Pacific Coast League is defunct, and Iowa is now a part of a 20-team Triple-A East League. MLB is limiting travel this season because of COVID-19, so the I-Cubs will play solely within their Midwest division. This allows the teams to travel primarily by bus and avoid crowded airports and planes. Iowa will see its old PCL division rival in the Omaha Storm Chasers (Kansas City), plus a few new foes in the St. Paul Saints (Minneapolis), the Louisville Bats (Cincinnati), the Indianapolis Indians (Pittsburgh), the Toledo Mud Hens (Detroit) and the Columbus Clippers (Cleveland). You can click here to view our complete expected 2021 schedule.
- All matchups will be six-game series beginning on Tuesday and running through Sunday. Mondays will be league-wide off days.
- We are anticipating some capacity restrictions at least to begin the season. We will be operating with guidelines from Major League Baseball, the Chicago Cubs and the City of Des Moines. Exact seating arrangements and capacity will be determined closer to Opening Day. We hope that by the end of summer, it will be safe to lift restrictions and allow all of our seats to be filled.
- The Iowa Cubs are moving toward touchless and digital systems. Principal Park will focus on digital ticketing, presenting a new digital program on opening day and will be a cashless facility going forward. For fans that do bring cash, there will be reverse ATMs that will exchange cash for a prepaid debit card that can be used to make purchases around the ballpark.
- New security measures are being added and fans will be directed through metal detectors upon entering Principal Park.
- Major League Baseball is requiring fans to wear masks at all times when not eating or drinking at Principal Park. As noted above, we will begin the season this way and hope to return to “normal” sometime this summer.
We know. This is a lot. Some of these things were put in place by Major League Baseball. Others, like digital ticketing, are the result of fan behavior already leaning those directions. Despite the modifications, what remains is a promise for safe, family-friendly fun at the ballpark and of course, ice-cold beer! We can’t wait to see you at the ballpark!
At this time, the Triple-A season has been delayed until May and will continue through September 2021.
Downtown Des Moines (DSM) is a growing, vibrant community that offers the energy, sophistication, housing and attractions of a burgeoning city with a brilliant future. It’s also easy to visit with plentiful and affordable street and ramp parking options.