We know many of you are skeptical about spring training, but in the last month we’ve seen MLB teams release schedules (you can view them all on our sister site, Spring Training Online), with teams laying in plans for spring operations. Other sports, including the NHL and NBA, have begun plans for live play in home arenas at the beginning of 2021. Now, it’s certain that spring training 2021 will not be run like spring training of the past, with plenty of social distancing and COVID-19 mitigation planned, but the plan is to have fans in the stands as of now. We went ahead with the publication of our spring-training guides for Florida and Arizona and will soon release our MLB guide.
“We have taken a lot of pride over the years to forge exceptionally strong relationships with our minor league affiliates and today we’re excited to announce that we will bring a Major League exhibition game to Springdale,” said Royals Vice President/Assistant General Manager-Player Personnel J.J. Picollo. “After the historically challenging year that 2020 brought us, especially on the minor league side, our visit to Northwest Arkansas will hopefully help in reinvigorating our fan base in the region and get baseball off on the right foot for 2021.”
This game will mark the first time the Royals have played at Arvest Ballpark, and the first time playing a contest against their Double-A affiliate since 2008, when the Naturals were founded after a move from Wichita.
“We are thrilled to announce that we will be hosting the Kansas City Royals at Arvest Ballpark in 2021,” said Naturals Vice President & General Manager Justin Cole. “The Royals have been tremendous partners over the years and we could not be more excited to welcome the Royals franchise to Springdale next year.”