KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) — Ten thousand Kansas City Royals fans didn’t seem to mind the social distancing restrictions and other COVID precautions new to Kauffman in 2021.
But, Beth Boggs did notice that opening day did feel more subdued than normal.
“It’s a lot quieter,” she noted.
Boggs and her friends have made the Royals’ home opener a tradition for the last 15 years. Last year, their streak was broken when stadiums closed to crowds for the season.
“It’s so exciting to be back after missing last year,” she said.
The Royals, like nearly all MLB teams, <a href=”https://www.kctv5.com/sports/kansas_city_royals/several-changes-are-in-place-for-royals-fans-heading-to-kauffman-stadium-tomorrow/article_b49bc936-9276-11eb-9b78-976e498f5535.html” target=”_blank”>reduced capacity to about 25% for the start of the season.</a>
They also implemented cashless transactions throughout the stadium, encouraging fans to use a <a href=”https://www.mlb.com/royals/apps/ballpark” target=”_blank”>mobile app to preorder concessions.</a>
Augie Bennington preferred the old fashioned way of ordering his favorite ballpark food: helmet nachos.
“I’m a cash guy myself,” he said. “My buddy has to order them for me. No big deal. I’ll just pay him back in beer.”
Bennington, like many fans, acknowledged that cashless ordering was a sign of the times.
John Kensington, enjoying a game of bag toss with another tailgate group, said he believes it will improve the ballpark experience.
“I think COVID has forced us to make things more efficient,” he said.
As the afternoon ticked down to the opening pitch, most fans seemed to overlook the changes to the games.
Lacey Lewis was simply glad to be watching live baseball.
“Not all stadiums get this,” she said. “We all get to come back as a community and cheer them on.”