CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Reds are confident they can allow fans back into the stands during the 2021 season.
In a letter sent to season-ticket holders this week, the Reds said they expect to host a to-be-determined number of fans at Great American Ball Park this season, a number that will be decided by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine's administration. The team will submit a formal seating plan to local and state officials soon.
The news follows a 2020 MLB season that saw cardboard cutouts replace fans at stadiums across the country, which were kept mostly empty due to coronavirus concerns.
For the upcoming season, the Reds will require all fans and staff to wear masks inside GABP. Social distancing will be enforced in all areas of the ballpark, including entrances, concessions and concourses, as well as six-foot social distancing between groups of fans in seats. All tickets, including season tickets, will be contactless and delivered digitally through the MLB Ballpark app.
The Reds also told season-ticket holders they will need to be reseated in “pods" made up of groups of ticket holders that don’t need to be socially distanced. Each pod will be kept six feet apart from others. Season-ticket holders can request a refund until April 1 or roll over their season-ticket money to the 2022 season.
The Reds' home opener is set for April 1 at 4:10 p.m. against the St. Louis Cardinals. Find the full Reds schedule here.
Last summer, the MLB announced that the 2021 season would start April 1, with hopes to have every team play its opening game on the same day for the first time since 1968.
Meanwhile, the Reds Opening Day Parade has been postponed until the Reds can safely accommodate at least 45,000 fans at GABP, according to the parade's organizer, the Findlay Market Association.