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Fans return to Major League Baseball stadiums across the state under new protocols

Fans return to Major League Baseball stadiums across the state under new protocols
Posted at 5:16 PM, Apr 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-01 20:33:45-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Across California, Major League Baseball stadiums are welcoming back fans under new Covid-related protocols.

For the first time since 2019, baseball fans flocked to Oakland Coliseum on opening day, nearly 11,000, as the A's squared off against the Astros.

"I think there's going to be a great sense of celebration to be allowed to be back in a ballpark," said team president Dave Kaval.

That anticipation became clear when it came to ticket sales. The team began by selling packages of vouchers that could be exchanged for any game.

"Opening day was practically sold out within two or three hours," said Kaval.

In Los Angeles, the Dodgers are giving season ticket holders first dibs at tickets, while a lottery will parcel out any remaining tickets. If you want an opening day ticket on the resale market, it'll cost you, upwards of $4,500 for some seats.

Across baseball, ticketing will be touchless. You'll need your cellphone.

"That barcode will either be scanned by a ticket-taking staff member or at a kiosk," said Kaval.

Inside the Oakland Coliseum, fans will be divided into pods of two and four, seated six feet apart. Kaval says because the stadium is the old Raider's home, they've got double the typical amount of suites, about 150 for the season, each with a red-tier capacity of six people.

Inside the stadium and others across the state, there will be protocols to prevent congregating. Oracle Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, will be divided into nine zones, each with their own entry, restrooms and concessions to prevent cross traffic between fans.

Those concessions will look different as well. In Oakland, all food and drink will be supplied from one vendor.

"It's purchasable on an app ... Food will either be delivered to you, or you can go to a location and pick it up ... Everything from our chicken tenders, which are very popular, to hot dogs and traditional ballpark fare. It will be more limited than normal, just because we have to deliver the food, but people will see a lot of their favorites," said Kaval.

Right now, stadiums in San Diego, San Francisco and Oakland are at 20% capacity under the red tier. A move into the orange tier will allow 33% capacity. Los Angeles and Orange counties moved into the orange tier on Wednesday.