The upcoming 2021 MLB season is approaching and there’s some optimism that even though this season might not be perfect, it will be closer to normalcy than the shortened 2020 season was. Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, the league cut their season down to 60 games, and hosted a majority of the postseason at neutral sites.
The league currently plans to have a full 162-game season in 2021, and is hopeful there could be fans in the stands as early as Spring Training. There is still work to be done as there is no agreement between the league and the Players Association yet regarding formal health and safety protocols for Spring Training or the 2021 regular season among other topics such as the use of a universal DH and expanded playoffs. As of now, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred plans for the league to start Spring Training on Feb. 17th and Opening Day on April 1st, but has discussed the possibility of delaying the season due to the surge in Coronavirus cases across the country.
This blog will track which MLB teams will allow fans in 2021 and how many fans will be allowed. We’ll update it regularly as league protocols are updated, and hopefully, fans are able to attend games with a normal, pre-Covid capacity once the promising vaccines have helped get the country on a safer path.
How Will MLB Seating Work Under Reduced Capacity?
The league has not yet confirmed that teams will be allowed to have fans in attendance, nor have they confirmed health and safety protocols if they’re allowed to. Based on what we’ve seen with the NFL and NBA, if fans are allowed to attend MLB games this year in a reduced capacity they may implement pod seating. Pods are socially-distanced and safe limited groups of fans that will only be sitting with the ones they came with. Pods are generally sold in groups of 2,4,6, or 8, but ultimately each team and their venue will have their own policies to adhere to local and state government mandates.
Pods cannot be split up to accommodate groups of people who did not come to the game together, and fans will not be at risk of coming into contact with other pods while in their seats at the game.
How Can Fans Get MLB Tickets This Season?
While it’s yet to be confirmed what the fan capacities will be for MLB teams in 2021, it’s presumed that season ticket holders will have first rights to their normal seats if they choose to renew their season ticket packages. We’d imagine that it will operate similarly to the NFL, where fans with season tickets had the right to opt into their seats for the upcoming season or defer them to the following season.
Should that model be the case for the MLB, there’s the opportunity for plenty more seats to be available to the general public during the teams’ on sales.