San Diego Padres Lead Brigade Of California's MLB Teams In Working With State To Allow Fans To Attend Games By Opening Day

February 21, 2021

The San Diego Padres are leading a brigade of California's Major League Baseball teams in negotiating with the governor's office and local public health officials on a proposal that would allow all 5 state teams to operate at limited capacity at the start of the 2021 season.

When the San Diego Padres play their home opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks on April 1, the team hopes fans will be in the stands. Along with the four other California MLB teams (Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Oakland Athletics & San Francisco Giants), the San Diego Padres ownership and management are leading talks with the state's government to finalize a proposal that would allow fans to safely attend games on a limited capacity. The current proposition would require California to modify its colored tier structure, which now only allows those in the orange and yellow tiers to permit fans in attendance. Currently, all 5 teams home stadiums are located in counties in the purple, most-restrictive tier that does not allow for any attendance of sports competitions or live entertainment. 

Major League Baseball's existing "minimum health and safety standards" require stadiums to have only socially-distanced seating that would be sold in "pods" of two seats, three seats, four seats and individual seats. Like what occurred during last year's playoff competitions and World Series games hosted in Arlington, Texas, when limited fans were permitted to be in attendance, fans over the age of 2 will be required to wear facial coverings at all times when not eating or drinking in assigned seats. It is also believed that social distancing will be enforced, including limiting of movement around the ballpark, and concession transactions would be cashless, among other restrictions. At 20% capacity, the San Diego Padres would be permitted to host approximately 8,041 people at Petco Park and 10,052 at 25% capacity. 

Tickets for San Diego Padres Spring Training games at Peoria Sports Complex in Arizona go on sale this week. Padres will play 14 home spring training games, starting on March 1 against the Chicago Cubs. A total of 1,960 fans will be permitted in the Arizona stadium, which is 16% of the 12,518 capacity.

California teams anticipate a decision on whether fans will be allowed to attend games and at what capacity by mid-March. It is believed that more fans will be permitted at games as the season progresses, although capacity will likely be limited to no more than 25 percent.