NORFOLK (WAVY) – The wait finally ended on Tuesday night. Baseball made its return to Hampton Roads, with the Norfolk Tides playing their first home game since Sept. 2, 2019.

“You look around the stadium right now, people have been wanting this for it seems like 10 years,” said Perry Kiriakos, a longtime Tides fan.

Though the stadium only operated at 38 percent capacity, the energy and optimism throughout the ballpark made it feel like a packed house. “To get all the fans in here, knowing that this is back to their normal and our normal, it really is emotional,” said team president Ken Young.

The Tides couldn’t find much offense, and fell to the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 4-0. Regardless of the final score, fans enjoying a live sporting event, largely without masks, represent another step forward.

“This is the epitome of a breakthrough to me,” said Kiriakos. “People are coming out, no mask, enjoying a game, hot dogs, this is about as American as it gets.”