Dark In The Park: Cleveland Guardians To Start April 8 Home Opener Following Total Solar Eclipse

FILE - The Cleveland Guardians grounds crew prepares the field for the home opener baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Friday, April 7, 2023, in Cleveland. The Guardians will throw the first pitch at their 2024 home opener after the earth, moon and sun align. Cleveland's first game at Progressive Field against the Chicago White Sox will begin on April 8 at 5:10 p.m. — two hours following a total solar eclipse, an event that hasn't happened in Northeast Ohio since 1806 and won't again until 2444.(AP Photo/Ron Schwane, File)
FILE - The Cleveland Guardians grounds crew prepares the field for the home opener baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Friday, April 7, 2023, in Cleveland. The Guardians will throw the first pitch at their 2024 home opener after the earth, moon and sun align. Cleveland's first game at Progressive Field against the Chicago White Sox will begin on April 8 at 5:10 p.m. — two hours following a total solar eclipse, an event that hasn't happened in Northeast Ohio since 1806 and won't again until 2444.(AP Photo/Ron Schwane, File)

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Guardians will throw the first pitch at their 2024 home opener after the earth, moon and sun align.

Cleveland's first game at Progressive Field against the Chicago White Sox will begin on April 8 at 5:10 p.m. — two hours following a total solar eclipse, an event that hasn't happened in Northeast Ohio since 1806 and won't again until 2444.

The team said Thursday that the ballpark's gates will open at 2 p.m., giving fans a chance to observe the eclipse, which will begin at 1:59 p.m. and go for several hours with the peak coming at 3:13 p.m. and lasting four minutes.

The Guardians have typically played their opener at 4:10 p.m. but adjusted the start time after consulting with city officials who are expecting Cleveland's downtown to be crowded with visitors for the rare eclipse.

The team is urging fans to plan accordingly and use public transit if possible.

Cleveland is one of few major cities in North American in the path of totality, a 100-mile track of the moon's shadow.

Officials have estimated over 200,000 visitors will be coming to the area to witness the unique celestial show. Most schools will be closed for the day, and some residents in the city's western suburbs are renting their homes to eclipse devotees from around the world.

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