The St. Paul Saints (independent; American Association) have received permission from the state for a CHS Field return and hosting 1,500 fans per game while implementing COVID-19 measures outlined earlier this year.
The Saints had been playing its home games at Sioux Falls Stadium this year. Currently on the road, the team will open its CHS Field schedule on August 4, with 18 home games currently on the schedule.
The Goldklang Group, owner of the Saints as well as the Charleston RiverDogs (Low A; Sally League) and Hudson Valley Renegades (Short Season A; NY-Penn League), put together guides way back in May with a plan on how they would resume operations once play resumes and fans are allowed back into ballparks. The Saints COVID-19 readiness plan is can be found here.
The Walz administration and the Minnesota Department of Health has been refining its COVID-19 mitigation strategies, calling for more mask usage in indoor settings but also loosening restrictions in outdoor settings. The Rochester Honkers (summer collegiate; Northwood League) received permission earlier this week to increase capacity at Mayo Field by 95 fans.
Here are the specifics of the Saints’ operating plan:
- A maximum of 1,500 fans per game
- Six (6) distinct areas around the ballpark with no more than 25 percent capacity in each area and a maximum of 250 people in each area
- Reserved and socially distanced seating within those areas
- Each area will have an exclusive entrance
- Each area will have exclusive restroom facilities
- Each area will have exclusive concession facilities
- Masks will be required for visitors throughout their time at CHS Field, but can be removed while seated and/or eating and drinking
- Concourse will be stanchioned to provide exclusive space for fans in each distinct area
Also in accordance with the guidelines each area is separated by one full empty section. For example, Area A (see attached map) consists of Sections 101, 102, and 103 with Section 104 empty before Area B begins with Sections 105, 106, and 107. The Saints will communicate with fans via email, text, and social media in advance of their game to provide specific instructions on parking, entrance, masking, and health screening. The team can separate ticket buyers by the area in which they’ve purchased tickets then provide detailed information to those fans about what they can expect from their CHS Field experience.
“We want to thank the Governor’s task force and the Minnesota Department of Health for providing us with the guidance needed to put a plan in place that allows our fans to safely enjoy Saints baseball at CHS Field this summer,” said Saints Executive Vice President/General Manager Derek Sharrer via press statement. “Since this all began, the health and safety of our fans, employees, players and coaches has been our priority. We’re excited to bring the team home and can’t wait to get started.”
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