Birmingham Barons are back home and ready for practice in new ballpark
The Barons are back in Birmingham. Spring training is over and the home opener, in their new home, is just nine days away. Even as the game approaches, crews are still finishing work on Regions Field.
The Birmingham Barons will have their first practice session at Regions Field Tuesday.
As night falls over Birmingham, crews continue working on Regions Field. The actual field is ready for the first pitch April 10th. The team, who arrived at the Birmingham Airport Monday night, is also ready to check out their new home. Tyler Saladino, who plays Shortstop, says "it's going to be a fresh start, it's going to be nice."
"We're looking forward to seeing it and getting settled in and enjoying it." New pitching coach, Britt Burns, is from Birmingham and is excited the new ballpark is downtown. "The most compelling thing about a new stadium is it draws fans and people are attracted to it right away. Players, we all like the atmosphere and environment that a stadium full of fans brings, so hopefully that will be the case this year."
Players say they're excited about new amenities.. and aren't too concerned that construction is still going on just days away from their first game. Saladino says "As long as we can get to our locker and get our gear and get to the field to practice, it shouldn't be a problem at all. Throw a hard hat on if we need to as long as we can get out on the field."
Work is still expected to be underway when the first pitch is thrown out. The Baron's General Manager says that's not uncommon for a new park. But he says everything needed for the game... the stands, concessions and restrooms are there. Burns says "We understand there's other things going on and probably will be, but it sounds like it's going to be ready for our part anyway."
The Barons will begin their practice at 6:00. Coach Burns says they're also scheduled to practice on Wednesday as well. There are still a few tickets left for opening day and season tickets are still available.