CLEVELAND — As had been expected, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced that the Cleveland Indians will be permitted to host fans at Progressive Field, with the stadium's capacity capped at 30 percent to start the 2021 season.
Almost immediately after DeWine made the official announcement -- which also applies to other outdoor entertainment and sporting events in the state -- the Indians sent out their own announcement welcoming back fans and unveiling their safety guidelines and precautions for the upcoming season. Earlier this year, the team partnered with the Cleveland Clinic to develop guidelines for a safe return to Progressive Field.
According to the Indians, tickets to games will be sold in pod-style seating in quantities of either two or four tickets to ensure social distancing between eligible groups when fans are seated. All fans in attendance will be required to wear a CDC-recommended face mask at all times unless they are actively eating or drinking in ticketed seats.
The team noted that neck gaiters, bandanas, and masks with valves are not considered approved face masks at Progressive Field.
Other guidelines announced by the Indians on Thursday include:
- Gates at the stadium will open one hour before first pitch
- Social distancing will be required at all queuing locations before entering the stadium
- In an attempt to speed up ballpark entry, no bags will be allowed, with exceptions for medical bags, diaper bags and clutch purses
- Only ticketless entry via MLB Ballpark app, My Indians Tickets and the StubHub app will be permitted.
- Consumption of food and beverage will be confined to ticketed seating or ticketed designated standing spaces
- Cashless transactions will be encouraged for food, beverage and retail
- There will be an increase in hand sanitizer stations around the ballpark
- High-touch surfaces will be frequently cleaned
- Outdoor air circulation will be pumped into all indoor areas
- Cleveland Clinic’s "S-A-F-E" branding and signage will be present throughout the ballpark in order to remind fans of ballpark health guidelines.
The Indians also said that ticket availability throughout the season will be determined on a monthly basis until the ballpark is allowed to operate at full capacity again. Each month, capacity limits will be reviewed based on approved health and safety protocols before new monthly game tickets are released.
Single-game ticket availability will be announced at a later date.