Texas Rangers Fans Fill 38,000-Capacity Stadium For Home Opener Without Any Social Distancing
Texas Rangers fans filled a 38,000-seater stadium for the team’s home opener, without social distancing measures in place.
Crowds of fans flocked to Globe Life Field in Arlington on Monday, April 5 for the Rangers’ game against the Toronto Blue Jays.
This marked one of the first full-capacity sporting events since all sporting events were closed more than one year ago as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
As reported by CNN, the paid attendance at the Easter Monday game was 38,238, which was described by Rangers spokesperson John Blake as a sell-out. Blake clarified that the overall capacity at Globe Life Field is 40,518.
It’s understood that the Rangers are the only Major League Baseball team in the US that are currently allowing full-capacity seating at their stadium.
This is partly due to Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who last month lifted the mask mandate in the state and increased the capacity of Texas businesses and facilities to 100%.
In a press release at the time, Abbott said:
Today’s announcement does not abandon safe practices that Texans have mastered over the past year. Instead, it is a reminder that each person has a role to play in their own personal safety and the safety of others.
With this executive order, we are ensuring that all businesses and families in Texas have the freedom to determine their own destiny.
Despite the mask mandate having been lifted, as per the Rangers website, masks were required for all those attending the game ‘except when actively eating or drinking at their ticketed seats’.
Although the ball park did open last year, all of the Rangers’ home games were played without any fans attending. This time, as per CNN, Rangers manager Chris Woodward said that is had felt like ‘a real game’, resembling ‘some sort of normalcy’.
We were excited, man. We haven’t played in front of any crowd. We played a little bit in Kansas City, a little bit in spring training, but full capacity, it’s amazing how quickly we get used to certain things and not having that, was ‘Oh, this is what it felt like’.
Well, that’s a decision they made. I think it’s a mistake. They should listen to Dr. (Anthony) Fauci, the scientists and the experts. But I think it’s not responsible.
According to data from the Texas Department of State Health Services, as of April 5, Texas has reported approximately 2.4 million confirmed cases across 254 counties as well as 390,186 probable cases in 224 counties since the beginning of the pandemic.
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Office of the Texas Governor | Greg Abbott
Texas Department of State Health Services