It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.
With apologies to Charles Dickens, that pretty much sums up all of 2020 for the Greenville Drive.
The year started with such promise as our 15th anniversary season was all set to spring into action. Events, celebrations, stadium upgrades were all planned and ready to go.
And then March came and, well, you know the rest.
But now it’s 2021. And baseball is back. Let’s say that again. Baseball is back. And we couldn’t be more excited.
Now, given the pandemic, the 2021 Drive season won’t be 100% as they were, at least to start. Initially, we’ll operate Fluor Field at a 50% capacity consistent with South Carolina guidelines. The hope is that this number grows as the vaccine gets into more arms and the virus diminishes. Like the rest of Major & Minor League baseball, masks will be required and social distancing rules in place.
We’ll also introduce a cool new app – sEATz – that allows you to order food and drinks from your seat and have your order delivered right to you. No more waiting in line while the guy in front of you debates the merits of Cracker Jacks versus popcorn.
We’ve added a new chicken concession called the Fowl Pole so that your chicken cravings can be satisfied deliciously.
We’ll offer plenty of hand sanitizing stations and you can rest assured that the stadium will remain sparkling clean. That’s been important to us since Opening Day in 2006, and anyone’s who’s ever visited the stadium understands that cleanliness is a creed we adhere to.
But here’s what we want you to know more than anything else. Since Day 1, the Greenville Drive and the Upstate community have been there for each other. As far as the team goes, we’ve done our best to contribute to many of our community’s most important causes, from education to health care, to job growth and training, to our hometown heroes, to so much more.
And we’ve tried to make you proud by offering the Upstate a first-class, award-winning facility that is the envy of towns our size—and even larger—throughout the country. We’ve contributed to the revitalization of our amazing downtown and it couldn’t make us prouder to have played that role.
Since our inception, you’ve shown up in droves. You’ve filled the stadium with your loyalty, your spirit, your cheers, your passion and your appreciation. We’ve noticed. Oh, how we’ve noticed. From so many of you wearing Drive gear around town, to the number of season ticket holders we have, to those of you who come to 5 or 6 games a year, we’ve noticed. Even last year with no baseball season, you stuck with us and showed your support in so many meaningful ways.
There’s a recurring phrase in the movie, “The Field of Dreams.”
“If you build it, they will come.”
Well, we didn’t want to just build it, we wanted to build it beautifully and purposefully, and with the long-term in mind. And guess what? You came. And now we’re celebrating our 15th season with you.
Even though last year was, well, last year, we know you’ll be back because nothing can keep a wonderful place like the Upstate of South Carolina down. Not a virus. Not anything. We know you’ll be there for us again, and it’s something we’ll never take for granted.
Baseball is back.
Opening Night at Fluor Field on Tuesday May 4th.