The five California MLB teams have been cleared to host fans at the start of the 2021 season, but the exact numbers won’t be determined until we get closer to the April 1 season opener.
Based on improved COVID-19 reported cases and positivity rates, California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued updated guidelines for group sizes across the state. These capacity guidelines are based on local tiers: Red, Orange and Yellow. Red, obviously, is the worst: it allows only for 20 percent capacity, while Orange allows for 33 percent capacity and Yellow for 67 percent capacity. The guidelines are not final, but the basic MLB plan for COVID-19 mitigation in place for months–socially distanced seating in groups of two or four, mandatory mask usage, contactless concessions, digital tickets–should address most of them. There are likely to be some twists; for instance, the Oakland A’s say they will be selling tickets only to California residents and not offer concourse concessions: food must be ordered via app and then delivered to your seat.
For the Los Angeles Angels, Orange County is still classified with a Red tier, but the numbers are trending toward Orange and expected to reach that level once the season starts.
“Angels Baseball is grateful that the Office of the Governor, State and Local Health Officials, Major League Baseball, and the five MLB Teams in California worked closely to develop plans that safely allow fans into our Ballparks for the start of the 2021 Season,” Angels President John Carpino said via press release. “We are thrilled to welcome fans back safely to the Big A.”
“We are excited to hear today’s announcement, which creates a path to welcome our loyal and passionate fans back home to Petco Park for the 2021 season, and we thank Governor Newsom and his staff for their collaborative efforts,” Padres CEO Erik Greupner said via press statement. “Our number one priority is providing our fans with a safe and fun experience when they return to the ballpark. We have been diligently preparing to ensure that Petco Park is one of the safest places to be in San Diego this season. We expect that Padres fans will be able to support our team in-person beginning on Opening Day and our players are eager to have them back at Petco Park. We will communicate with our season ticket members soon regarding the details of their return to Petco Park. San Diego and our country have been through a very difficult period and we are proud that once again the great game of baseball can serve as a unifying and healing force in our community.”
As noted, there are still many details to be finalized: only the A’s presented a detailed plan for opening. But the fact that the five California MLB teams are able to host fans this season will surely be a shot in the arm for the sport.
RELATED STORIES: Cards, Brewers cleared to host fans in 2021; MLB teams still waiting clearance for fans; Pennsylvania modifies COVID-19 rules to allow 20 percent capacity at ballparks; Coors Field fans cleared for Rockies games; Massachusetts OKs ballpark fans for 2021 season; Ohio looks at allowing 30 percent capacity at MLB, MiLB ballparks; Brewers plan for fans at renamed ballpark in 2021; Blue Jays may displace Bisons in Buffalo; Blue Jays to begin 2021 MLB season in Dunedin’s TD Ballpark; Marlins to pursue WELL Health-Safety Rating, fans in the stands; Yankee Stadium, Citi Field cleared to host fans this season