It was the day before the Hudson Valley Renegades home opener, and the staff at Dutchess Stadium were busy smoothing out the mound, getting ready for Tuesday night’s home opener.

Fans will find a couple of changes this season, like updated signage and new furniture at gathering spaces like the Sloop Brewing Co. balcony, and a new group space at the season ticket gate.

The luxury suites are also getting an upgrade with renovations and new furniture. And perhaps the most noticeable change, no more COVID protocols.

"Fans are really excited to not have all those protocols in place," Hudson Valley Renegades President and General Manager Steve Gliner said. "The opportunity for us to provide something that feels normal again."

What You Need To Know

  • The Dutchess Stadium opened in 1994 and holds about 4,500 people

  • Changes this season include new signage, new furniture in gathering spaces and renovations to the luxury suites

  • The Hudson Valley Renegades home opener is Tuesday, April 19, 2022

  • The HV Renegades are an affiliate of the New York Yankees

Health experts still recommend caution as New York's COVID-19 positivity rate is rising.

Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says outdoor activities are a safer choice, they also say attending large events increases your chances of being exposed to COVID-19.

The home opener is also coming a little earlier this year.

"When we were a short-season team in the New York-Penn League, we always started our games in June," said Gliner. "But now that we’re a full season club, we start in April. So it’s a little different. It's going to take some time for our fan base to realize that we're playing at this time of year."

If you’re more interested in snacks than the score, there's plenty of that to go around, too. Just ask Neil Werner of Sweet & Boozy, one of the fan-favorite vendors at the stadium that provides both boozy and non-boozy ice cream creations for adults and kids alike.

"We cover the spectrum to make everybody happy," said Werner.

After a tough winter, there’s just something about a day at the ballpark that feels like summer.

"We’re really proud of the fact that Dutchess Stadium is really a destination for folks in this area to come out and just find a few hours to hang out with their friends and family and enjoy some baseball," said Gliner.