Texas Rangers Plan to Have Full-Capacity Crowds at Its Stadium
The Texas Rangers are planning to become the first team in any of the major U.S.-based sports leagues to have a full-capacity crowd at its home games since the coronavirus pandemic hit a year ago.
On Wednesday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott's order took effect which allows businesses in the state to operate at 100% capacity. So on the same day, Rangers CEO Neil Leibman announced that the team hopes to allow a packed house come April 5 when the team opens the season at home against the Toronto Blue Jays.
“We’re very confident we won’t be a super-spreader event,” said Leibman. “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 situation is still very fluid and the pandemic can certainly alter the team's plans to host a capacity crowd at the 40,518-seat Globe Life Field, which was opened last year without fans in the stands.
Local authorities are still able to impose "mitigation strategies," such as reduced capacity, should virus hospitalizations exceed 15% of all hospital capacity in the region over certain periods.
Even with his order taking effect, Gov. Abbott is still encouraging the public to continue practicing social distancing measures and wearing masks, though they're no longer mandated.
What about the other Texas baseball team?
The Houston Astros announced in January they would allow fans to attend games at 25% capacity this season. It's unclear if they will change that plan in the wake of Abbott's order. A team spokesman said it was "still being worked on" when asked about capacity on Wednesday.
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