On Friday, the Phillies released an amended Spring Training schedule. It had been reported by The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal and Matt Gelb that the schedule would be revised in order to keep teams closer to home for travel purposes, given the COVID-19 pandemic. The schedule is out, and will be be at a ballpark with a different name.
Here are some of the highlights:
- The first game will now be an away game in Lakeland against the Tigers. It will take place Sunday, February 28.
- The first Phillies home game is now Monday, March 1. The Phillies had previously been scheduled to be at home both Saturday and Sunday.
- St. Patrick's Day will be a home game for the Phillies, as traditionally happens.
- Off days are now Monday, March 8 and Thursday, March 18.
- The schedule wraps up on Monday, March 29 before the Phillies depart for Philadelphia.
Missing from the schedule are trips further south than Sarasota. That means no games against the Atlanta Braves (North Port), Tampa Bay Rays (Port Charlotte), or the Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox (Fort Myers).
Another interesting change is a name change to the ballpark. The official Phillies released referred to "Phillies Spring Training Ballpark". On the Phillies webpage, "Spectrum Field" has been changed also to "Phillies Spring Training Ballpark". As recently as a couple weeks ago the website carried the "Spectrum" name.
The Phillies first contracted with Charter Communications back in 2004, naming the facility Bright House Networks Field. But after a merger with Time Warner Cable, Charter rebranded services "Spectrum" and the company became "Charter Spectrum". Beginning in 2017, the ballpark reflected the "Spectrum" name.
There has been no announcement about fans in attendance from the Phillies. Some Grapefruit League teams have announced either a 15% or 20% capacity at their ballparks.