Baseball returns with changes for fans

St. Louis Cardinals

ST. LOUIS – Baseball fans across the country celebrated the beginning of baseball season Thursday.

Restrictions due to COVID-19 vary from city to city. New York Yankees fans face temperature checks and must present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test.

Crowd capacity caps are in place at most ballparks. The capacity limit for Wrigley Field in Chicago is 25%. Busch Stadium’s capacity cap will be 32% to start the season.

John Mozeliak, St. Louis Cardinals president of baseball operations, is hopeful the team will be playing in front of a full stadium before the end of the season. He’s optimistic the increase in vaccinations will lead to fewer restrictions.

“We want to mitigate the risk of players getting sick and games not being played but it would also be exciting to get to a point where at some point this summer you are seeing ballparks sold out or full again,” said Mozeliak.

Some of the changes for fans headed to Busch Stadium this year include the separation of seating groups.

“All the seating pods are six feet apart,” said Matt Gifford, vice president of stadium operations for the St. Louis Cardinals.

He said some seats will be roped off so no one group of fans will be sitting next to another group.

All tickets will be digital, no bags will be allowed, and metal detectors have been upgraded so no one will need to empty out their pockets. Tickets will also include a suggested gate for entry to minimize crowd congestion.

The St. Louis Cardinals home opener is scheduled for April 8.

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