One of the biggest questions surrounding the upcoming 2021 MLB season is the topic of fans. While cardboard cutouts are great, 2020 proved that there is no way to replace the atmosphere and energy that thousands of fans bring. St. Louis Cardinals fans know this well.
Busch Stadium didn’t feel the same in 2020, but as the season nears, it is looking like there will be at least some ground taken back by fans.
A few weeks ago, Bill DeWitt announced that ‘8,000-12,000 fans’ would be allowed into Busch at some point this season, with a smaller number expected initially. On top of that, the Cardinals and Marlins would be working to allow ‘less than 1,000’ fans into Roger Dean Stadium for spring training. This announcement came after the owner’s side of the league finally stopped arguing for a shortened season and instead laid the plans for fans in spring training.
As of Monday, Roger Dean Stadium has become the first stadium to announce its specific plan for fan attendance.
The plan is to sell tickets in pods of two, four, and six seats. There also won’t be cash accepted at the stadium.
For season ticket holders at Roger Dean Stadium (shared by Marlins and Cardinals), tickets will go on sale as soon as next week. For all general fans, tickets will go on sale right around the time that pitchers and catchers are reporting some three weeks from now on February 18.
As for health guidelines in the stadiums, the announced rules by the stadium are what should be expected.
While some users on Twitter found it ironic that the two teams whose 2020 season was most affected by COVID-19 were the first to announce fan attendance, this seems like two separate issues.
Already, the NFL and CFB has had fans in their outdoor stadiums over the past few months and fans even attended the MLB playoffs in October. There is clearly a plan in place for social distancing and to follow health guidelines.
At the same time that these sales were announced, the Cactus League (Arizona’s spring training) sent a letter to the league expressing concern about starting spring training on time. That is a different can of worms. However, right now fans of the Cardinals can look forward to having at least some attendance for spring training games.