Frawley Stadium

Frawley Stadium, captured in all its beauty by WDEL Sports Director Sean Greene

The Wilmington Blue Rocks will welcome a new opponent to Frawley Stadium for their 2021 season opener, but it's still unclear how many fans will get to see them play.

Wilmington will host the Aberdeen Ironbirds on Tuesday, May 4 in the debut of the new High-A East League, part of the restructured Minor League Baseball format.

The High-A East squad will play in the Northern Division with Aberdeen [Orioles], Jersey Shore [Phillies], Brooklyn [Mets], and Hudson Valley [Yankees].

All series this year will be played in a 20 six-game, Tuesday-Sunday series format, with none of the 120 games being set for Mondays.

Wilmington will face each of their divisional rivals in four series, two in Wilmington, and two on the road.

The remaining four series will be played against members of the Southern Division, with Wilmington set to play Bowling Green [Kentucky/Rays], Greensboro [Pirates], and Rome [Braves]. 

Wilmington will not play Asheville [Astros], Greenville [Red Sox], Hickory [Rangers], or former Carolina League rival Winston-Salem [White Sox].

One big question yet to be answered is how many fans will be allowed in the ballpark.

The Delaware Division of Public Health only allows two spectators per player for youth sports at the moment, although it's unclear if improving COVID-19 infection rates and the outdoor nature of baseball will help allow for larger crowds by May.

The Blue Rocks did not announce a template for game times.

2021 will mark the first of a ten-year agreement between the Blue Rocks and the Washington Nationals.

The Potomac Nationals served as the Nationals' 2019 representative in the Carolina League, they finished second behind the League Champion Blue Rocks in the Northern Division.

Hagerstown served as the Class A Nationals affiliate last year, and finished 65-75 in the South Atlantic League, under a normal progression, many of those players would start 2021 in Wilmington. A roster should be announced closer to the start of May.