COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. - After three months of indefinite closure, the National Baseball Hall of Fame is nearly ready to open its doors again.
The Hall announced, Wednesday, that it is preparing to reopen at the beginning of Phase Four of the New York State reopening plan in the Mohawk Valley region on Friday.
Normally open all but three days of the year, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day, the Hall of Fame has been shut down since March 15 amid the coronavirus pandemic.
When it does welcome visitors again, a comprehensive health and safety plan has been implemented at the museum in accordance with CDC and New York State guidelines to ensure cleanliness, physical distancing, and reduced contact.
The Hall's hours will be from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., with timed admission tickets available for purchase at baseballhall.org. Tickets will be provided upon a first-come, first-served basis allowing visitors to reserve specific date and times to enter the museum to limit museum capacity and congestion.
All staff members and guests will be required to wear face masks while in the building, and free single-use masks will be available at the museum entrance for visitors who do not have one.
Path flow through exhibits will be assigned using directional markers, and larger gathering spaces such as the Grandstand Theater, Bullpen Theater, Learning Center and Sandlot Kids' Clubhouse will remain temporarily closed.
For interactive exhibits, rubber-tipped styluses will be provided to use with touch-screens and buttons to avoid direct contact.
The Hall will increase its also cleaning and disinfection within museum spaces and office areas, while protective clear acrylic shields have been installed at the museum's admission desk and check-out counters within the gift shop.
For employees, the Hall of Fame has adjusted schedules to stagger arrivals and departures, and has limited the amount of staff within the building at one time. All employees will be given a health screening assessment and temperature check daily when entering the museum for their shift.
"On behalf of the National Baseball Hall of Fame's Board of Directors and our entire staff, we look forward to welcoming visitors back to Cooperstown to celebrate the game we love," said Tim Mead, President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. "Members of our staff have worked tirelessly to prepare and enact plans that will allow us to open our doors. Throughout this process, the health and well-being of our staff and our visitors has remained paramount."
The Hall of Fame has also announced a brand new exhibit that will open along with the museum on Friday. Starting Nine: The Must-See Artifacts from your Favorite Team will highlight nine historical pieces from each MLB club.
The 2020 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was cancelled in a unanimous vote by the Hall's Board of Directors in April. Despite the building reopening, there will still not be any ceremony this summer. The Class of 2020 inductees including Derek Jeter, Larry Walker, Marvin Miller and Ted Simmons will be honored on Sunday, July 25, 2021, along with the Class of 2021.
For more information, visit baseballhall.org.