Today is opening day for ballparks around the country, and Major League Baseball has set guidelines and taken precautions for fans to return to watch America’s pastime. The Miami Marlins will be playing the defending American league champions, the Tampa Bay Rays, at their newly renamed stadium, LoanDepot Park.
“And welcome all of you for the very first time to LoanDepot park,” said Marlins CEO Derek Jeter expressing his excitement for the official re-naming of the Marlins’ home stadium and the return of fans for opening day 2021.
The MLB is hoping for a 162-game regular game season after the COVID abbreviated season in 2020. With the pandemic still being a cause for concern, the MLB has set health and safety protocols in place for its 30 clubs.
Fans will be returning to the stands this year but the number of people allowed to enter differs from state to state. In some stadiums like D.C.’s Nationals Park, they will welcome a maximum of 5,000 fans for their opening game, require face coverings, have cashless concessions and fans will be seated in pods of no more than 6 people, among other precautions.
Today, the Marlins will be welcoming 25 percent of the stadium’s normal capacity plus masks and six-foot social distancing. The first pitch between the Rays and the Marlins is at 4:10 this afternoon.