It's official: baseball fans will attend games in 2020.
Major League Baseball officially announced on Wednesday they will allow a limited number of fans to attend the National League Championship Series and World Series at Globe Life Field, the home of the Texas Rangers in Arlington.
MLB and the Texas Rangers worked together to make approximately 11,500 tickets available for each game with 10,550 fans spread throughout the ballpark and 950 in suites. The number of tickets sold will fill Globe Life Field to roughly 28 percent of its capacity of 40,300 fans.
"To see fans in our ballpark for baseball is going to be very exciting," said Rangers executive vice president of business operations Rob Matwick. "This is what we've been pointing toward since we started the construction four year ago. To see it actually come to fruition is pretty significant. Not necessarily in the circumstance we hoped to have it in. We'd rather have the Rangers on the field, but it will be exciting nonetheless to have fans be able to come into Globe Life Field and see baseball in 2020.
"We're excited about it, and we look forward to hosting the Major League Baseball jewel events. These are the biggest games of the year; the most important games of the year. And we're looking forward to crowning a champion here in Arlington."
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MLB has received the appropriate approvals to host fans in the ballpark and will implement fan health and safety protocols in conjunction with state and local regulations. MLB announced the following rules and protocols in a press release:
- Tickets in the seating bowl will be sold in groups of four contiguous seats, called pods. Individuals may purchase a limit of one pod per NLCS and World Series game.
- Seats within each pod cannot be broken apart for sale.
- Each pod will be a minimum of six feet from each other.
- No seats will be sold within 20 feet of where a player can be located on the field, in the dugouts or in the bullpen.
- Masks will be mandatory for all fans except when actively eating or drinking at their ticketed seats.
- Hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout the ballpark.
- No bags will be permitted except for those that are carried for medical reasons or manufactured diaper bags that accompany infants and young children.
With the entire stadium being utilized to spread out fans, the Rangers bringing back and currently training 200-250 seasonal employees, not counting those hired by Delaware North, the food and beverage partner of the Rangers.
Tickets for all seven games of each series will go on-sale starting on Tuesday, October 6 at 10:00 a.m. CT at MLB.com and texasrangers.com. Texas Rangers season ticket holders will have access to a pre-sale on Friday, October 2 while registered users on texasrangers.com will have access on Monday, October 5. While it has not been finalized yet, the gates are expected to open either 90 minutes or two hours ahead of first pitch.
Game 1 of the NLCS on Monday, October 12 will mark the first time fans will be able to attend a game at Globe Life Field, 196 days after the originally intended Texas Rangers home opener on March 31.