DAYTON — After not playing a season in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dayton Dragons released a 120-game schedule for the 2021 season.
Following a delayed start to spring training, the Dragons will begin their season May 4 on the road for the first six games of the season at the Great Lakes Loons in Midland, Michigan.
The Dragons’ first homestand will start the following Tuesday on May 11 against the Lancing Lugnuts.
What remains to be seen, is if fans will be in the stands on opening day. Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County said it has not received a request for a variance for an attendance limit. Under current state rules, 1,024 fans would be permitted in the stands. The stadium normally holds 6,831 fans in the permanent seating.
“Our next steps will be to work with the health department on stadium capacity, safe return of fans, and a game plan for all of our ticket holders,” Dragons team president, Robert Murphy said in a media release.
“With the large number of Dragons season ticket holders, and such a great fan base, this will be a complex project that will take some time to put together. Please be patient,” Murphy said.
Teams will play six-game homestands, Tuesday through Sunday, and will have every Monday off. Games will start at 7:05 p.m. for all scheduled games except Sundays, which will start at 2:05 p.m., according to a team spokesperson.
The 120 game schedule will consist only of High-A Central opponents with 60 home games and 60 away games. There will be no postseason or All-Star game this year. The season will end in September, which will be the latest a Dragons season has ended in the team’s history, according to a team spokesperson.
The Dragons will play their first season as the Class A-Advanced, “High-A,” affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, after 20 previous seasons as the “Low-A” affiliate.
The Dragons were promoted to the High-A affiliate of the Reds following the reorganization of Major League Baseball’s minor league system. As part of the restructuring, the number of minor league teams went from 160 to 120.
Remaining affiliates for the Reds include the Louisville Bats, AAA, Chattanooga Lookouts, AA, and Daytona Tortuguas, Low-A.