Zip-Tied Seats and No Cash Allowed: Baseball at Chase Field Will Look Different This Season

MLB

By Jennifer Goldberg | Phoenix New Times

When the Arizona Diamondbacks play their home opener against the Cincinnati Reds on Friday, April 9, it will have been 558 days since D-backs fans got to see their team at Chase Field.

After 2020, which saw a shortened season and no attendees at games, “to get to Opening Day is a major achievement,” says Diamondbacks President and CEO Derrick Hall. “By being able to open up our gates to fans, we know we’re getting back to where we were before.”

But in the post-pandemic world, a day at the ballpark will be quite different than it was in 2019.

For starters, say goodbye to paper tickets — it’s all digital this season, either through text messaging, email, or the MLB Ballpark app. (Also contactless this year: paying for parking.)

The stadium gates will open 30 minutes later than in past seasons to discourage people hanging around outside. To reduce contact at security checkpoints, only clear bags will be allowed.

And despite the fact that Governor Doug Ducey abandoned mandates yesterday, you have to wear a mask. Not a face shield, not a bandanna — a mask.

“We will have our staff walking around with gentle reminders for people to pull up their masks,” Hall says.

When you get inside, Chase Field will seem pretty empty: The stadium will be operating at 25 percent capacity, or just under 12,000 fans per game. To help maintain social distancing, Diamondbacks staff zip-tied a good chunk of the seats.

You may have enjoyed trying to get autographs during batting practice, but we regret to say that there will be no player-fan interaction, at least at the start of the season.

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