From cash-less concessions to advance-purchase of parking, the experience at Dodger Stadium will be decidedly different under guidelines announced by the team Wednesday as it prepares to welcome back fans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thanks to revised state guidelines, fans will be permitted to attend outdoor sporting events in California beginning April 1, just in time for baseball season. The Dodger home opener is scheduled for April 9.
Los Angeles County is currently in the red tier of the state's Blueprint for a Safer Economy, which sets rules for businesses and activities during the pandemic. In the red tier, Dodger Stadium will be restricted to 20% of capacity, with attendance limited to in-state residents only. By April 9, the county could advance to the less-restrictive orange tier, which would allow 33% capacity, also limited to in-state fans.
In preparation for fans returning, the Dodgers released a set of protocols Wednesday:
-- All tickets will be issued digitally and scanned at ballpark entrances from a mobile device.
-- Fans will be seated in physically distanced pods of two to six people, with unused seats cordoned off.
-- Social distancing will be encouraged throughout the stadium, with limited capacity in elevators, restrooms and other indoor areas.
-- Only clear bags measuring 12 inches by 12 inches by 6 inches, or about the size of a one-gallon freezer bag, will be permitted inside. Backpacks, coolers and large purses will not be permitted, with the exception of medical bags or diaper bags.
-- All purchases inside the stadium will be cash-less and contact-free. For those who need them, cash-to-card kiosks will be located throughout the stadium so people can load cash onto prepaid Mastercard debit cards.
-- Parking must be purchased in advance.
-- Face coverings will be required for everyone aged 2 and older, and can only be removed by people eating or drinking at their seats. Neck gaiters, bandanas and masks with valves do NOT qualify as face coverings.
-- The stadium and parking lots will be completely smoke-free, including a ban on electronic cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products.
-- Parking lots will have reduced capacity, and will open 90 minutes prior to the game. Stadium gates will open one hour before the game.
Team officials said hand-sanitizing stations will be located throughout the stadium, and additional staff will be on hand to clean high-touch areas. Bathrooms will have reduced capacity and be outfitted with contact- free soap and towel dispensers.
Procedures for ordering food and drinks are expected to be announced later. Red tier guidelines allow in-seat concessions only.
Season ticket holders are being given priority for seating, but single- game tickets are expected to go on sale by the end of the month. Fans trying to obtain opening-day tickets can register online through Sunday at Dodgers.com/OpeningDay for a chance to purchase seats.