ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — Live baseball is returning to the Dell Diamond this summer with or without a MiLB season.
The Round Rock Express announced it will be the home of the Round Rock Hairy Men for the next two months — a temporary expansion team in the Texas College League. The TCL is dubbed as the state’s first major collegiate summer wood bat league combining 10 total teams from Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.
The Round Rock Hairy Men will face several current TCL teams and four other MiLB clubs will be forming teams for the 2020 season — Amarillo (two teams), Frisco, Tulsa and San Antonio.
The Dell Diamond will host 15 league games during a 30-game season, running from June 30 until August 2. The home opener is set for July 7. The Round Rock Express say stadium capacity will be capped at 25% for proper social distancing.
However, according to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s reopening plan, the Dell Diamond could operate at 50% capacity, if it desired to do so.
The 2020 Minor League Baseball season is still bouncing around in limbo, due to the coronavirus pandemic and Major League Baseball’s labor negotiations with the MLB Players Association. In the event the MiLB creates some sort of 2020 season during the TCL season, Express officials say they have a plan to host games for both leagues.
“Given the uncertainty surrounding the 2020 Minor League Baseball season, we are moving forward with hosting other events at Dell Diamond in accordance with public health guidelines,” Express President Chris Almendarez said. “The Texas Collegiate League provides us the opportunity to host live baseball games in front of fans while we await a decision about Round Rock Express baseball.
Former TCL player and current Express General Manager Tim Jackson says he is confident the team will be made up of mostly Central Texas talent.
“We are utilizing all of our connections with collegiate programs to highlight as many local athletes as we can this summer,” Jackson said.
The Express expect to have a full roster by next week.
Round Rock’s schedule will be announced and tickets for all TCL games played at Dell Diamond will go on sale Monday, June 15 at 10 a.m.