"COVID's over, now let's play ball," it seems they're saying. Texas is back open for business and so are the Texas Rangers.
Globe Life Field in Arlington — currently the site of a mass COVID-19 vaccination center — will open to 100 percent fan capacity at the first game on Monday, April 5 against Toronto, the Rangers announced in a March 10 press release. According to MLB.com, two exhibition games at the end of Spring Training against Milwaukee, on March 29-30, also will be opened for up to 100 percent capacity.
These are the first games the Rangers will play in front of fans at their new ballpark. Globe Life Field technically opened last spring, but along came the coronavirus, which not only killed more than 500,000 Americans but also highly inconvenienced professional sports.
The governor of Texas has swooped in to save sports.
“The Rangers are encouraged that the Governor’s Office has given clearance for us to fully open Globe Life Field at the start of the 2021 Major League Baseball season,” says Rangers president of business operations and chief operating officer Neil Leibman in the release.
“We will require all those who enter Globe Life Field to wear a mask or face covering," he adds heroically, "and are working with Major League Baseball on some additional protocols required for player health and safety."
As stated in the release, those protocols include:
- Masks will be required for all fans except when actively eating or drinking at their ticketed seats. That includes all concourse areas and when entering Globe Life Field.
- Hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout the ballpark.
- Globe Life Field will again be cashless, as it was for 2020 events. All tickets will be digital and only credit cards will be accepted at concession stands and retail locations.
- Safe distancing will be enforced in concession lines and retail locations.
- No bags will be permitted except for those that are carried for medical reasons or manufactured diaper bags that accompany infants and young children.
- The Rangers are working with Major League Baseball to finalize health and safety protocols as it pertains to the seating bowl and the playing field at Globe Life Field.
If you're a "wimp" who wants to follow the well-established CDC guidelines on social distancing, you are in luck because that option will exist in two sections where people will not be breathing and spilling beer all over each other. But not for the first game. No distancing there.
"The Rangers plan to make certain locations of Globe Life Field 'Distanced Seating' sections, which will allow for more space between occupied seats," the release says. "These sections will be available for all April games except the home opener on Monday, April 5 versus Toronto."
In a nice gesture to those who've been caring for COVID patients all year, the Rangers "will be showing sincere appreciation to the local frontline heroes who have worked long hours and made many sacrifices for the good of the community," the release says. "The Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation will be reaching out to many of the organizations that have helped North Texas on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic, including hospitals, first responders, teachers, grocery store workers and military service members and FEMA staffers who have been working the Globe Life Field vaccination site.
"Through the Rangers Relievers Program, the club will honor these heroes by providing free tickets for the two exhibition games versus Milwaukee on March 29-30, and all home games in April in designated sections."
More information about tickets will be available before the March 22 single game on-sale; lots of ticket information here.
"We will continue to monitor developments and implement the necessary public health measures," Leibman says. "We are excited that Rangers fans will finally be able to experience all that Globe Life Field has to offer.”
Right now, all that Globe Life Field has to offer are vaccinations, and that information can be found here.