Cardinals 2021 Home Opener: What’s different because of COVID precautions?

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ST. LOUIS — Preparations have been underway to welcome back fans in person at Busch Stadium. Thursday’s home opener will look a bit different because of the coronavirus pandemic. One of the main differences fans might notice besides the seating capacity (32 percent currently)–there won’t be anyone yelling “beer here, get your beer here” while you’re sitting in your seats. 

In an effort to limit contact, the Cardinals have made changes inside the stadium. 

There will be socially-distanced seating and mask requirements, and fans must have mobile-only tickets.

Other changes, according to the Cardinals:

  • Cashless transactions: Concession stands, kiosks and other retail transactions made in the stadium will be cashless and only offer credit and debit payment optionsDebit cards will be available for purchase using cash with no service fees at a limited number of locations inside the stadium.
  • Designated entry gates: Guests will be directed to enter and exit the stadium through one of six designated entry gates to expedite the process and limit crowding at any one entrance.  A designated entry gate will be noted on each ticket.  Guests will not be permitted to exit and re-enter the stadium.
  • Bags not permitted: To reduce contamination and ensure touchless entry, bags will are not permitted to be brought in to Busch Stadium, except for medical or diaper bags.
  • Hand sanitizer: Hand sanitizer dispensers are widely available throughout the ballpark.
  • Staff health screenings: All full-time employees and event staff are subject to health and temperature screenings before entering the stadium.
  • Cleaning: Busch Stadium’s HVAC systems have been upgraded by replacing filters in the ballpark to MERV 13 to ensure cleaner air in any enclosed spaces.  Electrostatic sprayers and EPA registered disinfectants will continue to be utilized to disinfect rooms and surfaces throughout the ballpark.”
  • Cashless transactions: Concession locations will only accept credit/debit cards and digital wallet payments (e.g. Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Google Pay) for payment.  Guests can purchase a debit card using cash at all Schnucks Grab ‘N’ Go Markets inside Busch Stadium with no fees.  Debit cards are good at any location that accepts credit cards at the ballpark and any retailer outside the stadium.
  • Reduced menu:  In an effort to reduce transaction times and crowding, menu options have been slimmed down at concession stands.  But don’t worry, all of the “Ballpark Favorites” will be available.  Specialty menu items are tentatively scheduled to be added back to the menu later this season.
  • New P.O.S. system:  A new “point of sale” system will allow fans to swipe their own credit or debit cards to finish their concession transactions, allowing staff additional time to get orders to fans faster.
  • Grab ‘N’ Go: Additional small Grab ‘N’ Go locations have been added throughout the stadium for fans to quickly purchase snacks and beverages.
  • Sipper lids: Sipper lids will replace separate lids and straws for purchased beverages.
  • No vendors:  Food and beverage vendors will not be present in the seating bowl to start the season.
  • Staff protocols:  All concession staff will wear masks and associates in point of sale roles with have face shields.  Supervisors will be present to ensure safety protocols are being practiced throughout the building.

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