After losing an entire season, baseball returns to Asheville Tuesday.
A lot has changed since the Asheville Tourists last took the field. The team is now a Houston Astros affiliate, they moved up a division to High-A, and they will play different teams than fans have seen in the past – including their opening night opponent the Brooklyn Cyclones.
Doug Maurer is the director of broadcast and media relations. He’s looking forward to a new level of play in Asheville. “I mean, I’ve been here for 10 years and seen the same teams over and over. We have Brooklyn coming in to open up the season. We've never played Brooklyn before.”
The changes spread into the stands. Fans will now scan digital tickets and even order food from their seats. Tourists President Brian DeWine is most excited with this change. “It just kind of like an Uber Eats style thing you get on there, click, click, click food is delivered to your seat. So I think that's the most positive change. I think people will like that. And I hope we can continue to do that post pandemic.”
Concession stands will still be open, dollar dog nights will return, but 'Thirsty Thursdays' with $1 drafts will not be a part of the 2021 season. All fans will have to wear masks unless they’re actively eating or drinking.
The Tourists open their season Tuesday at McCormick Field at 6:35. Tickets for opening night sold out in less than 30 minutes, and there are less than 50 tickets available for each night for the rest of the week. Tickets must be purchased in advance, as no walk-up sales will take place this season due to the pandemic. All fans must wear masks unless they are actively eating or drinking.