Bay Area baseball fans will be the first through the turnstiles in more than a year at professional sports venues as the calendar hits April 1 and new, more relaxed COVID-19 protocols take effect in the state.
While Giants faithful will have to wait until the April 9 home opener against the Colorado Rockies at Oracle Park, A’s fans will pour into the Coliseum for Thursday’s Opening Day matchup against the Houston Astros.
But it won’t be a full house. While both teams can allow 25 percent of stadium capacity, the Giants are sticking to the 20 percent due to COVID configurations, which equates to about 8,300 fans. The A’s, at 25 percent, will have around 12,000.
What does that mean for fans? Tickets must be purchased in advance (no walk-ups), concessions (food and drink) will only be sold in the seats — possibly ordered via the MLB Ballpark app — and not in the concourse, and all transactions will be contactless and cashless (credit and debit cards, Google and Apple Pay). Outside food can be brought in. Of course, masks will be required as well as social distancing, with two- and four-seat pods.
Most if not all Giants tickets will first be offered by the team to those who have season tickets, while the A’s have used a voucher system that has been very bumpy for fans yet should have single-game tickets available. Tickets can also be found on third-party sites including Ticketmaster and StubHub, but often at prices above face value.
The last time fans could attend an MLB, NBA, NFL or NHL game in the Bay area was at Warriors and Sharks games before sports shut down in mid-March 2020.