Oct 13, 2020 - Sports

MLB hosts its first fans of the season


Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Globe Life Field hosted 10,700 fans for Game 1 of the NLCS Monday night, and will do the same for the rest of the series, as well as next week's World Series.

Why it matters: These are the first baseball games all year with fans that aren't made of cardboard, and the operation's success — or failure — will dictate MLB's 2021 attendance policy.

The state of play: The safety guidelines comprise a three-pronged approach to minimize the risk of exposure and spread.

  • Social distancing: Tickets are sold in pods of four, separated by six feet, and the 30,000 additional seats are roped off to ensure they stay empty.
  • Masks: Everyone over the age of two must wear a mask unless actively eating or drinking. Staff will issue warnings — three strikes and you're out.
  • Sanitization: Sinks are set up throughout the concourse to encourage frequent hand washing.
  • To further reduce close contact between fans and staff, bags are not allowed and temperature checks are not being performed.

What they're saying: "They brought it for sure, and it definitely got the adrenaline going, especially late in the game. It was intense," Atlanta's Austin Riley said of the fans after his ninth-inning HR sparked a rally.

The bottom line: Globe Life hosted 61 high school graduations this spring, gaining valuable experience about ushering guests through a stadium amid a pandemic. They'll learn even more this month, and so will MLB.

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