The COVID-19 pandemic has not put a dampener on the spirit of Major League Baseball fans in Arizona. Having put their entire spring allotment of tickets up for sale for spring training, the Arizona Diamondbacks sold out the full allocation in less than 24 hours. As soon as the opportunity of sitting out in the sun, enjoying some baseball presented itself, there was no hesitation from the fans.
Due to coronavirus, there is a limit to the number of fans allowed inside Chase Field. There are 14 home games for the Diamondbacks, with around 2,200 tickets available for each game, which is 20% of the total capacity of the venue. Fans will be spread throughout the park in pods of two, four or six seats and masks must be worn at all times, other than when consuming food and drink.
Speaking about the sale of the tickets, Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said, “We’ve been looking forward to this day as much as them,” before continuing, “The fact that it sold out as fast as it did — that fires me up.”
The venue is shared with the Colorado Rockies and they too have sold out their allocation of tickets for their home games. The two teams meet each other in their spring training schedule and it is a hugely exciting time for local baseball fans. Each team and training facility throughout Arizona and Florida have been making their own decisions about how many fans will be allowed to attend games and fans are advised to check their individual websites and social media for updates.
Thanks to the pandemic, all 30 teams were forced to play without fans in a shortened season. Arizona pitcher Stefan Crichton said, “Hopefully we can keep taking steps toward getting the stadiums full,” and this is something every player and fan wants to see throughout the coming baseball season. Let’s hope this doesn’t detract from the fans looking to betting online in Illinois and other places around the country as the game slowly returns to normality in this turbulent time for the sport.
Talking about the fans, Lovullo commented, “We missed our fans,” adding, “Not just Diamondbacks fans but I think baseball fans throughout the entire United States. We’ve lost a little bit of a connection. We’ve done what we could in our special way in Arizona to remain connected to our core group of fans, but the fact that they’re out there, they sold out, it doesn’t surprise me at all.”
In terms of team news around the league, veteran outfielder Ian Desmond is opting out for a second straight season with the Rockies, while Washington right-hander Stephen Strasburg looks set to return following a wrist in injury that troubled him last season. Aaron Sanchez has finalized a $4 million, one-year deal with the San Francisco Giants and he will join Dominican Johnny Cueto in the rotation to give the Giants plenty of experience. Having sat out the 2020 season following surgery on his pitching shoulder, Sanchez will be eager to get out there and start performing for the Giants in 2021.
The 2021 Major League Baseball season is due to begin on the 1st of April and the fans and players are excited by the prospect of a full campaign.