ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Fox 2 Sports Director Martin Kilcoyne talks with St. Louis Cardinals President Bill DeWitt III about the upcoming 2021 baseball season. Cardinals management is working with city officials on how many fans will be allowed into Busch Stadium to watch the team in 2021.
In 2020 the silence was deafening. Sure, there was piped-in crowd noise but Busch Stadium normally homes to more than 3 million Cardinal fans, finished with a total attendance of zero. The plan this season is for that to change significantly.
Major League Baseball has guidelines but it really comes down to the team working with local government and health departments. The Cardinals are working with city hall. They have received approval to welcome guests back to Busch Stadium for the 2021 season, beginning on Thursday, April 8.
“Busch Stadium’s vast open-air footprint, six entry gates and wide concourses gives us the ability to create the safest environment possible for guests to root on the Cardinals this year,” said Matt Gifford, Vice President of Stadium Operations. “We’ve all missed the fans at the ballpark and are confident that all fans will adhere to these policies for an outstanding game day experience.”
To begin the season, up to approximately 32% of capacity will be allowed to attend each game at Busch Stadium. Dewitt points out that the difference between zero and 13,000 or 14,000 fans is huge. Season ticket holders will get the first crack at purchasing tickets. Opening day is April 8th.
Dewitt points to progress surrounding the stadium. Including the expansion at Ballpark Village and hopes that people not only return to Busch Stadium but return to downtown.
Policies and protocols for 2021:
- Socially-distanced seating: Guests will be seated in pods of four or less with a minimum distance of 6-feet between seating pods in all directions.
- Masks required: Masks will be required at all times in all areas of the stadium, including the seating bowl, unless guests are actively eating and drinking.
- Mobile-only ticketing: All game tickets will be delivered via the MLB Ballpark app, ensuring a touchless entry into the ballpark.
- Cashless transactions: Concession stands, kiosks and other retail transactions made in the stadium will be cashless and only offer credit and debit payment options. Debit cards will be available for purchase using cash with no service fees at a limited number of locations inside the stadium.
- Designated entry gates: Guests will be directed to enter and exit the stadium through one of six designated entry gates to expedite the process and limit crowding at any one entrance. A designated entry gate will be noted on each ticket. Guests will not be permitted to exit and re-enter the stadium.
- Bags not permitted: To reduce contamination and ensure touchless entry, bags will not be permitted to be brought in to Busch Stadium, except for medical or diaper bags.
- Hand sanitizer: Hand sanitizer dispensers will be widely available throughout the ballpark.
- Staff health screenings: All full-time employees and event staff will be subject to health and temperature screenings before entering the stadium.