The American Association announced its 100-game schedule for the 2016 season, and the Saltdogs begin their campaign May 19, with the Haymarket Park opener set for May 27.
Lincoln starts its season with a seven-game road trip at Wichita and Kansas City before returning to the Capital City for a May 27 home opener against Winnipeg.
All Monday-through-Saturday home games begin at 6:35 p.m. except for select matinee games.
Sunday home games begin at 5:05 p.m. with the exception of two 2:05 p.m. Sunday starts May 29 and July 31).
The All-Star break will take place August 1-2, with the “midsummer classic” and festivities taking place at CHS Field in St. Paul, Minn. August 2.
Home highlights include: eight Friday night and eight Saturday night games; only four Monday games; a 1:05 p.m. Monday matinee against Laredo on June 13 and a Wednesday morning home game August 24.
From the American Association website:
Twelve teams will take part in the AA’s eleventh season, and for the first time since 2011, no inter-league games against clubs from the Can-Am League will take place.
The Grand Prairie AirHogs and Amarillo Thunderheads, separate league members, will operate as one entity in 2016. The team will play 25 home games at QuikTrip Park in Grand Prairie, Texas, and 25 at Potter County Memorial Stadium in Amarillo, Texas. All 11 other league members will return in their same markets.
“With 13 clubs and no inter-league play, a schedule with an odd number of teams became unbalanced and difficult,” Wolff said. “We appreciate that Southern Independent Baseball, owner of the Amarillo and Grand Prairie clubs, agreed to the league’s request to operate its two teams as one in 2016. We fully expect that both teams will return in 2017 as individual entities with a full schedule in their respective markets.”
Aside from the creation of the Texas team, league divisions will otherwise remain the same as in 2015. The three division winners and one wild-card club will advance to the postseason. As in previous seasons, both the semifinals and finals will be best-of-five series.
North Division:Fargo-Moorhead (N.D.-Minn.) RedHawks, St. Paul (Minn.) Saints, Sioux Falls (S.D.) Canaries, Winnipeg (Manitoba) Goldeyes.
Central Division:Gary (Ind.) SouthShore RailCats, Kansas City (Kan.) T-Bones, Lincoln (Neb.) Saltdogs, Sioux City (Iowa) Explorers.
South Division:Joplin (Mo.) Blasters, Laredo (Texas) Lemurs, Texas (nickname TBA – Amarillo/Grand Prairie), Wichita (Kan.) Wingnuts.