Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, the Charleston RiverDogs were scheduled to open their season on Thursday, April 9 at The Joe. As the ballclub awaits a new Opening Day, it will spend on Thursday bringing a flair of Opening Day to the Charleston community, including lighting the ballpark for a time in the evening, and a special merchandise deal.
The RiverDogs will turn on the ballpark’s brand new LED stadium lights at 7:05 p.m., the scheduled first pitch for the would-be Opener. And then, at 8 p.m., as part of a nationwide project called #LightItBlue, The Joe’s light poles will shine in blue for one hour. Light It Blue is organized by volunteers from the entertainment and events industry and is lining up as many major landmarks and electronic signs across the United States to be lit in blue to show support of all healthcare, front-line and essential workers around the country. The spectacle is in partnership with the RiverDogs’ Opening Day partners, Rev Federal Credit Union (formerly Heritage Trust Federal Credit Union), Budweiser, and South Carolina 811.
“We consider the ballpark to be a beacon and a gathering-place for the community,” said Dave Echols, RiverDogs president and general manager. “Even though we can’t have a traditional Opening Day, we want to remind the community that working together now will mean a return to baseball and other normal activities, hopefully very soon.”
The in-stadium spectacle is one of many ways for the Charleston community to engage with the RiverDogs on the would-be Opening Night, a scheduled Budweiser Thirsty Thursday. Through its social media channels – @chasriverdogs – the RiverDogs have a full slate lined up for Thursday, including:
- Noon to 4 p.m. – Virtual interactive between-inning promotions, including Hat Shuffle, Trivia and Virtual T-Shirt Toss for a chance to win prizes.
- 5:05 p.m. – A live stream of an MLB The Show video game between RiverDogs staff and the staff of the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers, who the RiverDogs were slated to face on opening night.
- 6:55 p.m. – All of the fanfare you expect at The Joe on Opening Night will occur on Facebook and Twitter, including virtual ceremonial first pitches by RiverDogs 20/20 Partners and a special National Anthem performance by Charleston mayor John Tecklenburg.
- 7:05 p.m. – As the lights burn bright at the ballpark, the team will re-air the 2019 Home Opener game on its social media channels.
Also on Thursday, as on all other Tuesdays-Fridays for the foreseeable future, fans can order and pick up their favorite ballpark food favorites through the “To Go from The Joe” platform. Online orders can be placed and more information can be found at https://www.milb.com/charleston/ballpark/drive-thru. Lunches are being prepared in the Segra Club at Riley Park kitchen by Josh Shea, the RiverDogs VP of Food & Beverage, and are available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Kids Meals come with RiverDogs baseball cards, and all meal orders include two free RiverDogs ticket vouchers, good for any game in the 2020 season.
And the team is offering a one-day-only Opening Day 20% off storewide merchandise deal through its online store at riverdogs.milbstore.com.
The latest on the RiverDogs
The health and safety of RiverDogs fans and employees is of the utmost importance to the organization and we support Minor League Baseball’s decision to delay the start of the 2020 season in an effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). This is a fluid, rapidly evolving situation and we are taking all necessary measures to ensure that our facilities are following the recommendations set forth by local, state and national officials. At this time, the RiverDogs remain unsure as to what extent this delay will have on our season. RiverDogs season tickets, partial season plans, and group tickets, including options to the Segra Club at Riley Park, are now available for the 2020 campaign at riverdogs.com/tickets. A full schedule and list of game times for the 2020 season is also available at riverdogs.com.