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Orioles reinstate 6:35 p.m. starts for home games on weekdays at beginning, end of season for 2021

The Orioles’ initial attempt to make home games easier for families to attend and watch on television by starting at 6:35 p.m. before Memorial Day and after Labor Day in 2020 was derailed by the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, games started an hour later.

This season, however, will see that plan through, with the club aiming to make games easier to watch during the school year. The team announced Thursday that the weeknight game time for the 19 home dates in April, May and September will be 6:35 p.m., with 7:05 p.m. weeknight starts during the summer months. Friday and Saturday night games will begin at 7:05 p.m. as well, with 1:05 p.m. starts on Sundays.

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Fans were not allowed inside MLB ballparks, including Camden Yards, during the 2020 regular season, though the team is working with MLB, state and city officials on protocols to welcome back fans to the ballpark in 2021.

Before coronavirus infection rates rose in Maryland, the neighboring Ravens had 4,345 fans at their Nov. 2 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium. Two weeks later, however, positive tests and hospitalization rates climbed to the point that leaders reversed course.

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The Orioles’ 2021 schedule at Camden Yards begins a week into the season with a 3:05 p.m. first pitch for their home opener against the Boston Red Sox on April 8. The Orioles are home on Mother’s Day (May 9 at 1:05 p.m. against Boston), Memorial Day (1:05 p.m. on May 31 against the Minnesota Twins), Father’s Day (June 20 against the Toronto Blue Jays) and Labor Day (Sept. 6 at 1:05 p.m. against the Kansas City Royals).

The schedule features five other weekday start times: 1:05 p.m. on April 15 against the Seattle Mariners, 1:05 p.m. on April 29 against the New York Yankees, 12:35 p.m. on May 20 against the Tampa Bay Rays, 4:05 p.m. on Aug. 12 against the Detroit Tigers and 1:05 p.m. on Aug. 26 against the Los Angeles Angels.

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