Chances are someone reading this article was at Minute Maid Park in Houston Texas the last time the Houston Astros were permitted to have fans in attendance at one of their games. The attendance that night was reported to be just over 43,300. It was Game 7 of the 2019 World Series. That's how long it has been since the Astros and their fans have gotten together to cheer as one.

Last year's games were at first delayed, then postponed, then rescheduled to be played without fans in the stands thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. There is no doubt you watched more than a few baseball games with those ridiculous-looking cardboard cutouts, right?

Well, this year the faux fans will be replaced with real fans at Houston's Minute Maid Ballpark. The team has announced plans to allow fans in for regular-season games this year. The plan right now is to limit the capacity of the stadium to 50%. In very round numbers that would mean about 20,000 fans would be allowed in for games.

As we mentioned that's the plan for April. The Astros will host 14 games during the months. According to the schedule released by the team that will mean visits from Oakland, Detroit, Los Angeles (Angels), and Seattle. The Angles and Mariners will be in for four games, Oakland and Detroit will be in for three-game series.

Even though the State of Texas does not have any specific mandates in place for the games the Astros do plan on following certain protocols to help ensure the safety of fans in the stands as well as players on the field. The reduced capacity should allow for fans to be socially distant with no problem.

The Astros open on the road April 1st against Oakland and then will swing south to face the Angels. The team's home opener at Minute Maid Park is set for April 8th against the Oakland A's.

Since we're talking about Major League Baseball, there has been some talk of expansion. If you were going to be placing the league's next franchise, where would you pick?  Here are some of our suggestions.

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