After experimenting with an earlier start to the season in 2013, the independent Atlantic League is going back to a more traditional schedule by beginning the 2014 campaign in late April.
The league released the 2014 calendar on Tuesday, with the York Revolution slated to kick off next season on Thursday, April 24, at home against the Camden Riversharks.
It will mark the beginning of the eighth season of pro baseball in York, and the third time in four years the Revolution will begin the season at home. The season will start with a six-game homestand, with four games against Camden (April 24-27) and then two games against the rival Lancaster Barnstormers (April 29-30).
This past season, the league opted to begin and end the season a week earlier than normal, which may have contributed to lower attendance numbers for six of the eight league teams, including York.
Also worth noting is the fact the league did not add a new franchise for 2014. There had been speculation the league was aiming to bring in two potential franchises in Virginia after granting the Loudon (Va.) Hounds and Virginia Beach conditional approval earlier this year.
Name change, sched ule: The Revs' ballpark will be getting a name change over the offseason, switching from Sovereign Bank Stadium to Santander Bank Stadium as part of a renaming campaign by Sovereign Bank's parent company, the Spanish Santander Group.
The longest homestand of the season for the Revs at the newly-named ballpark will be from June 26 through July 3, when the team plays host to the Long Island Ducks and Southern Maryland Blue Crabs in a pair of four-game series.
The first flight trip of season for the Revs will be May 19-22, when York makes its first voyage to take on the Sugar Land (Texas) Skeeters in the suburbs of Houston. For a third consecutive season, the Revs will end their regular season with a six-game road trip at Sugar Land in a second visit to Texas.
Fourth of July: York will not be home over the Fourth of July weekend because Santander Bank Stadium will be the site of York's Fourth of July festivities for the second year in a row. The stadium experienced success last July when fireworks and the accompanying events were moved from the York Expo Center in West Manchester Township to the city.
Baseball fans will still be within reasonable driving distance of seeing the Revs in action during the holiday, though. The Revs will square off at Lancaster in a "War of the Roses" series from July 4-6. The Revs lead the all-time series 71-65 in the regular season. Other home series against Lancaster include May 23-26 and Aug. 18-20.
On July 10, the Atlantic League All-Star Game will be west of the Mississippi River for the first time, when it's hosted by Sugar Land.
Official game times will be added to the schedule in the coming weeks, followed by a full promotional schedule.
Go here for the full schedule.
-- Reach John Walk at email@example.com.