Here’s what you need to know

Minor league opening day is scheduled today at several New Jersey baseball fields, including Lakewood and Trenton, after nearly two years since the last minor league baseball games in the state.

A new name, a new brand, but the same game – the Jersey Shore Blue Claws are set to celebrate their 20th season in Ocean County, and tickets to tonight’s game at First Energy Park in Lakewood are still on sale.

There are changes in effect this year. Most notably, the budding general admission seats are now broken down into modules for proper social distancing measures. The high tables around the stadium are reserved, and you can find out more about how to reserve in the team website.

Joe Ricciutti, president of the Jersey Shore Blue Claws, says his goal is to provide an escape for fans who are willing to just get into a game.

“The Blue Claws for the 2021 season are going to do exactly what we’ve been doing for the past 20 seasons and that’s keeping the fans entertained,” Ricciutti said. “We’re going to give them a reason to get them out of their homes. Everyone has been locked up for 14 to 15 months. We want an opportunity to get out of their house and have a good time.

Masks are mandatory at all times, unless you are sitting, eating, or drinking – this is an MLB rule. Capacity has been reduced to around 3,000 fans, but will likely increase as the season progresses. There are no temperature controls and no vaccine or negative COVID-19 test requirements at the door.

The game starts at 7:05 p.m. This is the first of 60 home games.

It will also be a historic evening along the banks of the Delaware River in Trenton, where for the first time in 60 years an AAA team will play at Arm and Hammer Park. The Thunder will take the field tonight.

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