The Toronto Blue Jays will welcome 15,000 fans per game to Rogers Centre to begin the 2021 home schedule, combining traditional seating and socially distanced pod seating.
The Blue Jays received an national interest exemption from the Canadian federal government last week, allowing the team to begin play at Roger Centre on July 30 under certainly conditions, including all players, including Blue Jays, be allowed north of the border, but sequestered to their hotels and the ballpark.
At the ballpark, the team will operate to begin the home schedule with a mixed approach to seating: a combination of standard ballpark seating (two-thirds of bowl tickets) and physically distanced pods of up to four seats (one-third of bowl tickets) for the first 10 home games from July 30 to August 8. The upper deck will not be opened, as only the 100L and 200L will be open for bowl seating; the 500L will not be available for the first homestand. According to the team, TD Executive Suites, TD Clubhouse, and Ticketmaster Lounge will also be open at limited capacity. To ensure the latest health and safety protocols are in place, tickets for future homestands will be announced later. We will also see some precautions enacted at the ballpark:
- Face coverings required at all times for fans aged two years and older, except when actively eating or drinking in ticketed seats or designated areas
- Mobile ticketing only to limit fan touchpoints; the ticket purchaser for the group must transfer individual tickets to each guest for gate entry and contact tracing (except for minors and those requiring accessibility support)
- Symptom screening prior to entry
- Cashless payment only throughout the ballpark, with new reverse ATMs available
- Physical distancing markers at the gates, on the concourse, in Jays Shop, and other social spaces around the ballpark
- Modified concessions menu with pre-packaged items, to minimize crowding and reduce touchpoints
These restrictions should be quite familiar to MLB fans who attended games earlier in the season; they follow MLB guidelines for safety reasons. Many MLB teams have lifted many or all of these restrictions, however.
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