Texas Rangers Open Season With Near Full-Capacity Crowd of 38,282 Texas Rangers Open Season With Near Full-Capacity Crowd of 38,282
Baseball is back, and so are fans – particularly in Texas. The Rangers opened their doors this week to a crowd of 38,232, not... Texas Rangers Open Season With Near Full-Capacity Crowd of 38,282

Baseball is back, and so are fans – particularly in Texas. The Rangers opened their doors this week to a crowd of 38,232, not including numerous tickets gifted to health care workers – making the game sellout. The game is believed to be the highest attendance event since the COVID pandemic ground live events to a halt in March 2020.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has allowed event operators to open at full capacity should they choose. The Rangers, who opened Globe Life Field to no fans at all last year (but hosted fans as the neutral field for MLB playoff games, including the World Series). Plans are to have reduced capacity going forward after the doors were thrown wide open for the opening of the year. Major League Baseball teams are all allowing fans as the season gets underway, through capacity limits vary greatly from team to team.

“You can have your opinion on it, but at the same time our country is moving forward. It symbolizes a little bit of hope,” Rangers Manager Chris Woodward told the Star Telegram. “We haven’t had a full crowd in a long time in any sport. To be the first one, as long as it’s done right and responsible, we should be fine.”

Fans in attendance were asked to wear face masks and to respect social distancing recommendations in the concourse areas throughout the game, which saw Toronto capture a 6-2 victory over the home Rangers. Regular messages were piped over the public address system to remind guests to follow health protocols in place.

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred has expressed hopes that the capacity limits will be lifted by the middle of the season as vaccination efforts continue to roll out across the country, mitigating some of the losses that teams and the league saw last year when it played its entire abbreviated regular season with no fans.

“I hope by midsummer that we have ballparks that are unrestricted and we have full fan access,” Manfred told The Associated Press.

“I see this season as a huge opportunity for baseball,” Manfred said. “We’re an outdoor sport. I think it’s safe or safer to go to outdoor activities. Everybody seems to agree on that. And I think that there’s pent-up demand for entertainment products, and we’re going to do everything we possibly can to take the best opportunity to take advantage of that.”

While Texas had by far the largest opening day crowd, Houston (50 percent capacity) and Colorado (43 percent) are also allowing large crowds, with Boston (12 percent) the lowest capacity currently. The full capacity ranges allowed for opening day are included in the table below (compiled by the Associated Press).

TEAM BALLPARK STARTING PCT. FULL CAPACITY
Diamondbacks Chase Field 25% 48,405
Braves Truist Park 33% 41,184
Orioles Camden Yards 25% 45,474
Red Sox Fenway Park 12% 37,305
Cubs Wrigley Field 20% 41,298
White Sox Guaranteed Rate Field 20% 40,126
Reds Great American Ball Park 30% 42,319
Indians Progressive Field 30% 34,788
Rockies Coors Field 42.6% 50,480
Tigers Comerica Park 20% 41,083
Astros Minute Maid Park 50% 41,168
Royals Kaufmann Stadium 30% 37,903
Angels Angel Stadium 20% 45,517
Dodgers Dodger Stadium 20% 56,000
Marlins LoanDepot Park 25% 37,446
Brewers American Family Field 25% 41,700
Twins Target Field 25.9% 38,544
Mets Citi Field 20% 41,922
Yankees Yankee Stadium 20% 46,537
Athletics RingCentral Coliseum 20% 46,847
Phillies Citizens Bank Park 20% 43,651
Pirates PNC Park 20% 38,747
Cardinals Busch Stadium 32% 44,383
Padres Petco Park 20% 40,204
Giants Oracle Park 20% 41,915
Mariners T-Mobile Park 18.9% 47,500
Rays Tropicana Field 36% 25,025
Rangers Globe Life Field 100% 40,300
Blue Jays* TD Ballpark 15% 8,500
Nationals Nationals Park 12.1% 41,380
* Playing at spring training ballpark in Dunedin, Florida
— The Associated Press

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