The District had earlier denied entreated from the Nationals and MLB to host fans to begin the season.
“We are happy to welcome a limited number of the best fans in baseball back home to Nationals Park on Opening Day,” said Mark Lerner, managing principal owner of the Nationals, via press statement. “Our organization has worked tirelessly with the District of Columbia, nationally-renowned health experts, including Crown & Company, whose principals have guided FIFA and the IOC, and also Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, as well as Major League Baseball, to craft protocols to ensure the safety and well-being of our players, coaches, employees, and our fans as we reopen the ballpark to the public. We look forward to increasing our capacity in the coming weeks. We cannot wait to have our fans in the stands again, wearing red and cheering on the Nats, as we begin our quest for another World Championship.”
As with every other MLB team, the Nationals will work with local officials on plans to expand capacity as the season progresses. The team is set to host a nationally televised night game on Opening Day as part of the ESPN coverage, but the team will be looking to entertain more fans as soon as the next April 15 homestand. Priority access to tickets for the opening series will be limited to NATS PLUS members based on tenure and ticket package size.
The Nats will be implementing the standard MLB COVID-19 mitigation plan: paperless tickets, contactless concessions with prepackaged offerings, blocked-off sections near player areas, assigned entry and exit gates, mandatory masks and pods of 1-6 people.
RELATED STORIES: Orioles to host 11,000 fans per game to begin season; Braves green-lit to host 13,500 fans at Truist Park to begin 2021 MLB season; Twins cleared for 10,000 fans at Target Field; Mariners cleared for fans at T-Mobile Park; Maryland governor lifts capacity restrictions; Orioles plan for fans in the stands; Rangers to open 2021 MLB season at full capacity; Colorado clears Coors Field for added capacity; Cubs, White Sox cleared to host fans this season; California MLB teams cleared for fans in the stands; 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