We’re still in the same week where MLB released its 2020 schedule and they’ve now announced the 2021 schedule, or at least the first, planned hope for a regular-length 162 games.
The big thing for the Orioles is that they will have Opening Day on the road on Thursday, April 1, 2021, with a home opener set for one week later, April 8. The season will also close on the road, with the O’s in Toronto on October 1-3 to end the season.
In a sign of the uncertain times in which we find ourselves, the O’s press release announcing the schedule simply says this about ticket sales:
The Orioles will make more information available regarding ticket sales for the 2021 season at a later time.
The original 2020 schedule had the Orioles set to square off against NL Central teams for their interleague matchups, following MLB’s standard rotation for which division plays which one from the other league. The O’s played the NL West last year and the NL East the year before that.
MLB has skipped over this year on the rotation and has set up the 2021 schedule so that the Orioles will face NL East opponents, the same as they would have been expected to do if there was no disruption to the 2020 schedule.
What that adds up to is the typical home-and-home three games against the Nationals (home July 23-25, road May 21-23), two game home-and-homes with the Marlins and Mets, three games at home against Atlanta and three on the road against the Phillies.
The Orioles are scheduled to be at home for both Mother’s Day (May 9 vs. Red Sox) and Father’s Day (June 20 vs. Blue Jays), as well as both Memorial Day (May 31 vs. Twins) and Labor Day (Sept. 6 vs. Royals). The release also highlights the O’s being at home on Juneteenth, the day that has come to traditionally mark the celebration of the emancipation of slaves in the United States, with renewed focus on its symbolic importance coming after this year’s civil rights protests.
The 2021 schedule features two separate ten-game road trips for the Orioles. One starts in what could be the 51st state on May 21 and also swings through for series against the Twins and White Sox. The other long road trip will see the O’s face the Blue Jays, Astros, and Angels from June 24-July 4.
The month of May will see the Orioles play in 17 road games. It’s a home-loaded back two months of the season, with 15 home games scheduled for August and 17 more in September.
The Orioles have two home weekend series against the Red Sox, one from April 8-11 and one from May 7-9. Their only home weekend series against the Yankees is May 14-16. The people who collect O’s ticket revenue are probably already sad they won’t get to cash in on premium June-August weekend prices against opponents whose fans tend to flood Camden Yards.
All of this is assuming that nothing happens between now and then to throw off the beginning of next season. When the 2020 schedule was released, there was no foreseeing everything that’s happened since. Now, it’s more a question of whether it’s optimistic to believe the start of a season nine months away will be able to happen as currently planned.
With that in mind, I’m curious about how people are feeling about the chances that there will be a big live crowd for the Orioles home opener on April 8, 2021.
Will there be a crowd of at least 35,000 fans at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 8, 2021?
This poll is closed
I doubt it (0-25%)
I mean, maybe? (26-50%)
More likely than not (51-75%)
I’m very confident (76-100%)