Fans will be required to wear face masks at all times at Hadlock Field this season, except when eating or drinking at their seats. All food orders will be in-seat via phones; employees will deliver the orders directly to your seat. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

The Portland Sea Dogs will start their season by allowing about 28 percent capacity – or 2,087 fans – for games at Hadlock Field, the team announced Tuesday.

Seating will be done in “pods” situated 6 feet apart, to follow social distancing protocols because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Sea Dogs will play a 120-game schedule in 2021, with their home opener scheduled for May 4. Last year’s minor league season was canceled because of the pandemic. In 2019, the team averaged 5,677 fans per event at Hadlock Field, including single-admission doubleheaders.

The team worked with state officials on its reopening plan to help ensure COVID-19 safety protocols. To allow for potential changes to capacity limits, the Sea Dogs will sell tickets on a month-to-month basis.

Tickets for games in May will go on sale in two weeks. Season-ticket holders will be able to purchase tickets on April 12, and tickets will be offered to everyone else on April 14.

“We can’t offer a true season-ticket package, as so many of our members’ seats are not available,” said Sea Dogs President and General Manager Geoff Iacuessa. “So, they will have a special presale each month and special pricing.”

Ticket prices initially will be $19 (box), $18 (reserved), and $17 (grandstand, which was formally known as general admission but now feature assigned seats). Prices for season ticket holders are $12 to $10.

The 2019 ticket prices ranged from $11 to $9.

“It pains us to need to temporarily increase pricing but, with only 28% capacity and expenses projected to be similar, if not more than 2019, we needed to make the adjustment to start the season,” Iacuessa said.

“If attendance increases, the ticket prices will go down … This is part of the reason why we plan to sell tickets month-to-month.”

The Sea Dogs don’t release season-ticket figures, but the figures in the past have hovered between 1,800 and 2,000. Iacuessa said feedback from season-ticket holders indicates “quite a few” of them are not getting tickets right away.

The seating pods will vary in size, from single-seat to eight-seat pods. The skyboxes will be limited to eight tickets.

There are other pandemic-related changes.

Patrons will be required to wear face masks at all times, except when eating or drinking in their seats. All concessions sales will be in-seat only. Fans will be able to order food via their phones, or from Sea Dogs employees, with concessions delivered to their seats. Souvenirs can also be purchased by phone.

Iacuessa said that delivering concessions was something being considered before the pandemic, so the service may continue beyond this season. He said the assigned seats in the grandstand will go back to general admission when there are no seating restrictions.

To reduce crowds entering the ballpark, the Sea Dogs added three entrances, along with the main entrance. Each ticket will have a designated entrance and exit.

Tickets this season can be purchased only in advance, by phone (207-879-9500) or at www.seadogs.com. Fans are encouraged to use mobile ticketing that can be scanned on phones when entering the ballpark, or to print tickets themselves.

Tickets for June games will go sale in mid-May (date to be determined).

If the state relaxes the 6-foot social distancing, Hadlock’s capacity will be expanded. Otherwise, it will be remain at 2,087, and be re-examined the following month.


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