PHOENIX — During a virtual press conference last week, Arizona Diamondbacks President Derrick Hall said the majority of fans were being cooperative wearing their masks and following social distancing during Dbacks Spring Training games.
There have been few, if any, issues, he said.
"Where we do have a situation where someone is not wearing a mask, we're going to address it. What we’ve seen is everyone’s been really cooperative and they realize the importance of wearing a mask and not just for themselves, but everyone around us," Hall said.
In a couple of weeks, Spring Training will end and the regular season will begin at Chase Field, where the D-backs are expecting to allow up to 25% of the stadium's 48,000-seat capacity.
The D-backs season begins April 1 against the San Diego Padres in San Diego. Their home opener begins April 9 with a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds, followed by a two-game series against Oakland Athletics.
Single-game tickets for the team's first three homestands go on sale at 9 a.m. on March 25 the D-backs said Monday.
Here is the D-backs beginning schedule:
- April 9-11 against the Reds
- April 12-13 against the Oakland Athletics
- April 27-28 against the San Diego Padres
- April 29 - May 2 against the Colorado Rockies
- May 10-13 against the Seattle Mariners
- May 14-16 against the Washington Nationals
Ahead of the upcoming season, and in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, much of the experience will mimic the rules and safety guidelines that have been in place during Spring Training, the D-backs said.
Masks will be required at all times unless actively eating and drinking; concessions and transactions will be cashless (debit or credit only) and available for mobile ordering; seats and groups will be spaced out throughout the stadium; and the stadium's clear bag policy will be enforced. Tickets and parking reservations will also be available for advanced purchases through the app (visit www.mlb.com/dbacks/ballpark/safety for more information).
The Team Shop will also be open during games at reduced capacity.
Hall said the current plan is to open at 25% capacity, however, should COVID-19 cases continue to trend down and vaccinations trend up, there is the possibility that capacity could increase.
"There’s still a great deal of uncertainty. We don’t know if it’s 25% now or gonna remain 25% for the whole season, or be able to start to increase slowly. We don’t know if we’ll have to pivot backwards -- we just don’t know," he said.
As far as the fan experiences with in-game entertainment, Hall said those close-contact activities, such as the upstairs playground, player autographs, and other experiences, will certainly have to be adjusted due to the pandemic -- if they happen at all -- but said they are working to make sure the fan experience "will have a look, feel, as it did in the past."
They are still working on how many concession stands will be open throughout the stadium, Hall said, noting that he wants to make sure fans do not have to walk across the stadium to get something to eat or drink or to purchase merchandise.
As for the roof, he anticipates keeping the roof open as much as possible as long as the weather and the summer temperatures cooperate.