CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Cleveland Indians fans are itching to get back to the ballpark after being forced to sit out a year due to COVID-19.
But if you’re headed to the Progressive Field for the Indians’ home opener against Kansas City on Monday, there’s a plan in place to keep fans, players, vendors, and everyone safe.
Curtis Danburg is the Vice-President of Communications and Community Impact for the Cleveland Indians, “I can’t tell you how excited we are to welcome fans back into Progressive Field after not having any fans in 2020. We’re looking forward to bringing them back.”
Even with a limited capacity of 30%, which equals about 11,000 fans, Danburg says the Indians plan to make the home opener a real home run that’s fun and safe.
“You’ll need to maintain that six feet distance as you come through the turnstiles. Once you’re in the park, it’s mask-wearing 100% unless you’re sitting in your seat eating or drinking,” Danburg said.
You can get up from your seat to use the restroom facilities or buy your favorite stadium food, but then it’s back to your seat, no mingling for now.
“We will not have any in-seat vendors and we will have a reduction of about 50% the number of concession stands. So that will leave 40 concession stands available - including your ballpark favorities. We’ll have nne of the Cleveland local restaurants available with a limited menu,” Danburg tells 19 News.
Progressive Field is encouraging cashless transactions, and ticketless entry to the game by using an app. There are still tickets for other Indians games in April and they will be sold pod style (in groups of two or four) as an added layer of protection when it comes to social distancing.
Doctor Amanda Hagen is the Medical Director with the Cleveland Clinic and one of a team of doctors working with the Indians’ Organization, “They’ve even zip tied seats to make sure that people can’t get too close to each other unnecessarily.”
But as the Indians cover their bases when it comes to health and safety, there’s still plenty of fun planned for on and off the field.
For the first time in 48 years Indians’ drummer John Adams will not be at the game due to health problems. In a video presentation he will temporarily hand his drumsticks over to an Akron native for the day, “Black Keys Drummer Patrick Carney volunteered to sit in for John and continue that tradition,” Danburg said.
There will an in-game celebration recognizing music iron Michael Stanley. The singer/songwriter died this year, but he loved his Cleveland Indians like he loved his town.