Want to attend spring training? Cactus League teams begin to roll out plans

The Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies have yet to release specific information about spring training tickets. (Photo by Alina Nelson/Cronkite News)

Sloan Park is often the busiest of the Cactus League spring training sites, but this year will be different because of COVID-19 restrictions. (Photo by Alina Nelson/Cronkite News)

Surprise Stadium is home to the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals. The City of Surprise has said it plans to allow fans but is still figuring out what percent of the stadium will be safe. (Photo by Alina Nelson/Cronkite News)

Tempe Diablo Stadium, home of the Anaheim Angels, said it will allow 1,800 to 2,000 guests to attend the games. (Photo by Alina Nelson/Cronkite News)

The Oakland A’s, who play at Mesa’s Hohokam Stadium, will see pitchers and catchers report on Feb. 17 the rest of the squad on Feb. 22. (Photo by Alina Nelson/Cronkite News)

The Peoria Sports Complex is one of the most popular spring training sites in the West Valley and house the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres. (Photo by Alina Nelson/Cronkite News)

Scottsdale Stadium tends to draw more autograph seekers than other Cactus League facilities but that should change this year because of COVID-19 restrictions. (Photo by Alina Nelson/Cronkite News)

Goodyear Ballpark season ticket holders are being given the opportunity to purchase tickets in “pods” of up to six people per seating location, according to an email the team sent out. (Photo by Alina Nelson/Cronkite News)

American Family Fields, home of the Milwaukee Brewers, underwent a $60 million renovation that was completed in 2019. (Photo by Alina Nelson/Cronkite News)

Plenty of fans from Los Angeles drive to Camelback Ranch for spring training. The facility is the spring home for the Dodgers and Chicago White Sox. (Photo by Alina Nelson/Cronkite News)

PHOENIX – Batter up. Mask up.

Despite an offseason that suggested a delay to the start of spring training, Major League Baseball pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report Tuesday, with games kicking off on Feb. 27.

Arizona is home to 10 stadiums where 15 Cactus League teams prepare for the regular season each year. MLB’s Players Association recently rejected a proposal by the league to postpone the start of spring ball because of COVID-19 concerns.

What will it look like?

Major League Baseball has not announced a blanket policy because many of the decisions will be determined by individual municipalities. Cactus League Executive Director Bridget Binsbacher said in a statement that cities “are working with stakeholders to finalize preparations for opening spring training camps. We expect to announce details soon.”

(Map by Lexi Ruiz/Cronkite News)

Although few teams have released specific details of attendance plans, most are expected to follow guidelines similar to the ones the City of Tempe announced recently. Tempe Diablo Stadium, spring home of the Los Angeles Angels, will open at 25% capacity. This would allow 1,800 to 2,000 guests to attend the games.

These rules are also included:

  • Face coverings must be worn at all times inside the stadium, except while eating and drinking.
  • There will be a no-bag policy to allow for a quick and no-touch check-in.
  • Seats will be appropriately spaced, with lawn seats marked in pods for physical distancing.

Some ballparks have said they will have apps available for fans to order wrapped food from their seats.

Ticket information is slowly trickling in. The San Francisco Giants said in a statement that it will sell between 750-1,000 tickets for each game played at Scottsdale Stadium, which has a capacity of 12,000 fans.

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Meanwhile, the Chicago Cubs say they have received the OK from the City of Mesa, Maricopa County and the state to operate at 25% capacity for all games to be held at Sloan Park

The Arizona Diamondbacks have yet to release ticket information and said on their website, “Due to further review regarding Spring Training details, the D-backs and Rockies will be temporarily postponing ticket sales to Spring Training games. We will alert fans with information about a new on-sale date when it is available.”

Meanwhile, players and team personnel will be required to adhere to new rules set by MLB, which released its health and safety protocols for the 2021 season.

Players will be required to wear face coverings at all times, with the only exception for players on the field or during pregame warmups.

Additionally, mandatory five-day at-home quarantine before reporting to spring training is expected, and players and other on-field personnel will continue to be tested at least every other day throughout the spring.

Sports Reporter, Phoenix

Regina Burgess expects to graduate in December 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in sports journalism.

Lexi Ruiz Lex-EE Roo-EEZ
Sports Digital Producer, Phoenix

Lexi Ruiz expects to graduate in spring 2021 with a bachelor of arts degree in sports journalism. She is working for Cronkite Sports this spring.

Alina Nelson uh-LEE-nuh nEHl-suhn
Sports Visual Journalist, Phoenix

Alina Nelson is a sports journalist and photographer who expects to graduate in August 2021. Nelson, who has seven years of photography experience, is working for Cronkite Sports this spring.

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