JACKSON COUNTY, MO (KCTV) — It was all smiles Wednesday as Kauffman Stadium was back open for fans a day before the season opener so fans could watch the team practice.
“It feels amazing. We’ve been waiting a long time to be in person at the K,” said one of the fans in the stands today.
With the fake fan cutouts and fake crowd noise gone, in come a lot of new safety changes.
This year, there will be 10,000 fans allowed in the stands in 6 feet socially distanced seating pods like what we saw at Arrowhead Stadium last season.
Masks are required and everything will be contactless. All tickets will be scanned in on your phone, so that means no more box office tickets.
On game-day, you’ll have to buy parking passes beforehand online and you can only tailgate with people in your ticket pod.
Regarding food, the rule is no cash; either you pay with a card or use a mobile wallet on your phone.
There will also be some contactless food kiosks, including self-checkout and mobile order pickup.
No bags will be allowed in the stadium and that includes purses. The only exception is bags for medical reasons or for childcare.
“We’ve been able to keep a close eye on what the Chiefs did across the street, what the NBA has done, really just best practices around the league to make sure everybody is both safe and has a good time,” says Isaac Riffel, Senior Director of Ball Park Operations for the Royals.
It’s a very different rulebook but one fans are willing to follow to be back in the K cheering on the boys in blue again.
“Hopefully as more people get more vaccinated they can get the capacity increased, but I think we are all outside and safe. They are requiring masks, limited items to bring in. So, I think it’s very safe. A great opportunity to see sports again,” says Cary Smalley, a fan at the practice today.
As the season goes on, officials plan to monitor the progress and possibly add more fans in stands and lessen restrictions.