The National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, is preparing to reopen to the public on June 26 after being closed for more than three months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The reopening will be conducted after extensive consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and New York state health officials, and will come with some adjustments for visitors as the Hall of Fame follows the state’s regionalized and phased approach for lifting restrictions related to Covid-19.
The Hall of Fame will be selling tickets on a reserved time and date basis in an effort to ease congestion both at the front of the museum and throughout the facility. Other rules will also be enforced to maintain physical distancing, and enhanced cleaning procedures have also been enacted. Visitors will be required to wear masks, and each one will receive a rubber-tipped stylus to use touchscreens around the museum.
Larger areas within the facility designed for mass gathering, such its theaters and learning center, will remain closed.
“Members of our staff have worked tirelessly to prepare and enact plans that will allow us to open our doors,” said Tim Mead, the Hall’s president. “Throughout this process, the health and well-being of our staff and our visitors has remained paramount.”
The re-opening will not bring back the peak crowds of Induction Weekend, which had been set for July and was to feature former New York Yankees superstar Derek Jeter and draw perhaps 100,000 visitors, as that event was canceled in late April.
The loss of that event for 2020 and overall public health crisis have levied a heavy blow on the upstate New York region whose economy is heavily dependent on baseball-related tourism.
But the Hall of Fame will still have an opportunity to capture at least some activity from Cooperstown’s summer tourist season. Seeking to take advantage of that, the museum has created a new exhibit, “Starting Nine: The Must-See Artifacts From Your Team,” that will feature key collection pieces from each of MLB’s 30 clubs.