COVID rules go for a toss in Rangers game



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Globe Life Field at nearly full capacity at season opener Image: ABC

COVID-19 rules were thrown out of the window at the recently held Major League Baseball (MLB) team Texas Rangers home opener thus allowing a full house crowd to sit side-by-side. The matchup was considered as a first for major league sports in the United States amid the COVID smush.

‘ABC News’ stated that as the State of Texas (US) lifted coronavirus-related rules last month – including the limited capacity factor and did away with the mask mandatory mandate, the Rangers were able to open their one-year-old Globe Life Field venue full to the brim 40,000-fan capacity. Fewer than 1,000 tickets were still available for the Rangers’ series-opening game against the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Texas Rangers are an American professional baseball team based in Arlington, Texas, located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. They compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League West division.

The Toronto Blue Jays are a Canadian professional baseball team based in Toronto (Canada). The Blue Jays compete in MLB as a member club of the American League East division.

The 40,300-capacity Globe Life Field is a baseball park in Arlington, Texas (US). Since 2020, it is the home ballpark of the Texas Rangers of Major League Baseball (MLB).

Of course, few coronavirus-related protocols were still in place – fans were told to wear face coverings unless taking food or drinking beverages. Concessions were cashless, and staffs were told to clean surfaces as often as possible. However, it is a different matter that many supporters preferred not to wear masks even when not eating or drinking.

‘ABC News’ further stated that a lot of staunch fans at the fixture said that they had least concern about the virus and nothing could stop them from being at the game.

Though the coronavirus crush is on in full steam, one fan used the packed ballpark to support the State’s efforts to return to normalcy -“Texas is leading the way.”

Averred Neil Leibman, Rangers’ CEO and President, Business Operations, said last month shortly after the Texas Governor, Greg Abbott, lifted COVID-19 protections, “We’re very confident we won’t be a superspreader event. 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.”

Leibman said MLB allows teams to operate under local capacity policy, as long as adequate protection for players is in place. The Rangers are setting up plexiglass barriers on top of the dugouts and along the back and sides of the bullpens.

The MLB team Houston Astros will operate with 50 percent capacity in their residence – the 41,168-capacity Minute Maid Park in Houston (Texas, US) – to start the season.

The Rangers plan to create “distanced seating” sections in certain locations of the facility, with more space between occupied seats for all games after the home opener.

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