Last updated on March 8th, 2021 at 01:12 pm
The Milwaukee Brewers will begin the season next month with fans in the stands at American Family Field.
The team announced Thursday morning that the City of Milwaukee approved a plan to reopen the stadium at 25% total capacity, or about 10,475 fans. Opening day, set for April 1 against the Minnesota Twins, will be the first time in 18 months that fans have been inside.
The last home game with fans in attendance was on Sept. 22, 2019, and the stadium’s name was still Miller Park. Derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the following season didn’t begin until July and all games were played without spectators.
“This is an exciting day for us, as well as our fans and partners who we know are eager to return to American Family Field,” said Rick Schlesinger, Brewers’ president – business operations. “Our players repeatedly say that Brewers fans bring phenomenal energy to the game and are the critical piece of the ballpark atmosphere.”
Despite being the smallest market in Major League Baseball, Brewers game attendance in 2019 ranked 8th highest.
Schlesinger said the city’s approval allows the organization to restore jobs for event and game-day staff.
Brewers season ticket holders for seats and suites will be contacted about their options for attending games in the next week. Information on tickets to individual games will be announced at a later date, according to a news release.
Under the American Family Field COVID-19 protocols, tailgating is prohibited; face masks are required except when actively eating or drinking; fans are required to remain in their ticketed seat to watch the game and consume food/beverage; proper social distancing is required at entrances, in concession lines, restrooms and throughout the building; way-finder signage and hand sanitizers stations have been installed.
“We will continue to communicate with the city officials and work toward increasing the capacity if the health metrics continue to improve,” said Schlesinger.
More information on fan accommodations and safety rules is available through the Brewers’ website.
The announcement follows Fiserv Forum’s recent reopening at 10% capacity, or 1,800 fans. The Milwaukee Bucks played their first game with fans on Feb. 16 after the city approved a plan requiring fans to wear face masks and remain in their seats at all times, and uses new technology for contactless concessions.
After the first half of regular NBA season ends in early March, the Health Department will reassess the Bucks’ plan to increase capacity to 25% for the second half of the season, which runs March 11 to May 16.