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Aviators to return with 142-game schedule

Updated February 18, 2021 - 3:41 pm

After having its 2020 season canceled by the pandemic, minor league baseball and the Aviators will return with a 142-game schedule in 2021 — just two games fewer than normal — that will begin April 6.

The Aviators, who will be aligned with the new Triple-A West league, will open two days later on the road at Round Rock, Texas. Las Vegas will play its first series at home against the Reno Aces beginning April 15.

The team hasn’t announced how many fans will be able to attend games at Las Vegas Ballpark under a new safety plan.

“Everybody wants 100 percent,” Aviators President Don Logan said about the percentage of ballpark capacity. “In time, I think that’s going to happen. The sooner the better from our perspective.

“But we need to get people in here, 50 percent, whatever the number is. We’re going to have to figure out how we’re going to deal with it. I think masks are part of the equation with that, and how you deal with social distancing.”

The new schedule will feature six-game road trips against the same opponent, hearkening back to the Pacific Coast League schedule of yesteryear when teams spent Tuesday through Sunday in one town and traveled on Monday. This schedule will run Thursday through Tuesday with Wednesday as the travel day each week.

Also, the schedule ends on Sept. 21. The minor league season used to traditionally end on Labor Day.

All these changes are expected to significantly reduce travel and hopefully prove to be a big step in curbing transmission of the virus.

“Under this new alignment and format, travel will be significantly reduced for players and coaches, with an increase in off days,” said Morgan Sword, vice president of operations for Major League Baseball which has assumed control of the minor leagues during an off-season reorganization of professional baseball. “We hope that these new health and wellness improvements will help players in their path to the big leagues.”

Contact Ron Kantowski at rkantowski@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0352. Follow @ronkantowski on Twitter.

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