While Major League Baseball is suffering through cancellations and postponements in trying to get its season off the ground amid the pandemic, the Iowa high school baseball tournament went off without a hitch last week. Over 29,000 fans attended the event at Principal Park in Des Moines – home of the Triple-A Iowa Cubs.
The event was played throughout last week with state championships in all four classes held Saturday. According to a Twitter account devoted to the Iowa high school baseball tournament, 29,904 fans passed through the turnstiles – the highest turnout since 2014.
Due to virus concerns, ticket sales for each game were capped around 1,800, according to a press release distributed by the IHSAA. Capacity at Principal Park is 11,500.
While reports from last week's championships have been positive, the state's summer baseball and softball seasons haven't been without adversity when it comes to the novel coronavirus. ESPN reported in early July that at least 25 of 338 baseball teams and 20 softball teams have encountered some type of exposure to COVID-19.
Class 4A baseball championship contender Dowling Catholic (West Des Moines) ended its season around the same time after a member of the team tested positive for COVID-19. The school's softball team also ended its season prematurely.
The season got underway a month later than originally scheduled. Those initial baseball and softball contests in Iowa were the first high school sports events since the pandemic shut things down in March.