The Texas Rangers announced Wednesday that they will open their stadium to full capacity on Opening Day, becoming the first professional sports team to host a game without capacity restrictions since the start of the pandemic, according to The Athletic and the New York Times.
When the Rangers host the Toronto Blue Jays at Globe Life Field in Arlington on April 5, the team will open the stadium to a capacity crowd of 40,518 fans. The New York Times reports that masks will be required unless “actively eating or drinking.”
The stadium has a retractable roof, meaning there's a chance the full-capacity game will occur indoors.
Following Opening Day, the Rangers will institute “distanced seating” in certain sections of the stadium, which “allow for more space between occupied seats.” The distanced seating sections “will be available for all April games” besides the opener.
Opening Day 2021 will mark the first baseball game at the stadium with fans in attendance. The stadium was completed last spring, though the Rangers did not allow fans in the stadium during the 2020 season due to the pandemic.
The MLB hosted several playoff games at Globe Life Field in 2020 as part of its playoff bubble system.
Texas is one of several states that have lifted all capacity restrictions on businesses in recent weeks against the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control.