ARLINGTON, Texas (NewsNation Now) — The Texas Rangers are set to play their first regular-season game in front of fans at Globe Life Field, the only stadium in the majors that is open to 100% capacity for fans.
Texas hosts Toronto for the 2021 home opener.
President Joe Biden told ESPN on Wednesday it was a mistake for the team to allow full capacity at their ballpark for their first game.
The Rangers’ Globe Life Field can seat 40,300 people.
“Well, that’s a decision they made. I think it’s a mistake,” Biden told ESPN. “They should listen to Dr. (Anthony) Fauci, the scientists and the experts. But I think it’s not responsible.”
“We’re very confident we won’t be a super-spreader event,” said Rangers CEO Neil Leibman last month. “With all the protocols that we’re following, we’ll be extremely responsible and provide a very comfortable environment for somebody to enjoy the game without worrying we’re going to be a spreader event.”
The Rangers will require fans to wear masks for games, unless they are actively eating and drinking at their seats.
All concession and merchandising transactions this season will be cashless and tickets will be digital.The team will enforce social distancing for fans entering and exiting the ballpark, as well as when in lines for concessions or merchandise. No tailgating will be allowed outside the stadium.
Fans returned to major league stadiums Thursday after they were kept out during the regular season last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Capacity is limited to about 12% in Boston and Washington. Twelve teams are at 20%, Colorado at about 43% and Houston at 50%.
The Ranger’s $1.2 billion ballpark opened last year when crowds weren’t permitted during the virus-shortened season — the stadium did allow fans when it held the first neutral-site World Series and also the NL Championship Series.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.