Major League Baseball announced plans Wednesday to allow some 11,500 fans to attend National League Championship Series and World Series games in Arlington, Texas.
MLB said in a statement that 10,550 fans would be spread throughout the Texas Rangers’ new Globe Life Field near Dallas with 950 more attending in luxury suites.
“Major League Baseball 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 said.
The ballpark that opened for the 2020 pandemic-hit season features a retractable roof and in normal circumstances would seat more than 40,000.
But game one of the NLCS on Monday, October 12, will be the first time fans will have a chance to attend a game there, or indeed to attend any game of the MLB season.
After the scheduled March start of the season was delayed by the pandemic, a shortened 60-game regular season played out in clubs’ home ballparks without spectators.
The expanded 16-team playoffs have opened with teams playing in their own parks, but both league championship series and the World Series that starts on October 20 will be played in neutral venues.
It will be the first neutral site World Series in modern baseball history.
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 and 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.