New guidelines in Ohio will allow the Cincinnati Reds to have 30 percent capacity at Great American Ball Park during the 2021 season. No fans, not even the family members of players, were allowed during the 60-game 2020 season because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The stadium seats 42,319, so there could be a crowd of as many as 12,695 fans on April 1 when the Reds open the season against the St. Louis Cardinals.
“We are excited to welcome fans back to the ballpark to kick off the season on Opening Day,” said Phil Castellini, Reds President and Chief Operating Officer, in a press release. “We thank Governor (Mike) DeWine and the officials at the City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County for their guidance and cooperation throughout the planning process.”
For the fans who do get tickets, the experience won’t be typical. Here are the health-and-safety protocols the Reds announced.
• “Players will not be permitted to sign autographs or toss baseballs into the stands per MLB regulations.”
• “Masks are mandatory for all fans and should properly cover the nose and mouth, unless eating or drinking in the seats.”
• There will be socially-distanced pod-style seating
• “All tickets will be issued digitally via the MLB Ballpark app to allow for contactless entry.”
• “Contactless and cashless forms of payment at concessions and merchandise stands.”
• “New bag policy prohibiting backpacks.”