Comerica Park to reopen with 20 per cent capacity

Comerica Park in Detroit is seen during a Detroit Tigers-Kansas City Royals game on September 21, 2018. Photo by Mark Brown/Blackburn News.

It may be a little longer for their Canadian fans, but a limited number of Detroit Tigers fans will soon be able to see their team play in-person again.

After Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced Friday that outdoor stadiums across the state can reopen at 20 per cent capacity, the Detroit Tigers announced that Comerica Park will welcome back fans in time for its home opener on April 1, 2021.

The ballpark, which has been home to the club since 2000, will begin selling tickets for 8,200 people per game for now.

“Tigers baseball is back, and we couldn’t be more excited to begin welcoming our great fans to Comerica Park again,” said Chris Granger of Ilitch Holdings, which owns the Tigers. “Safety is our top priority, and we have developed and invested in a plan that allows us to confidently provide fans with a safe and entertaining experience. We’ve missed our fans greatly and can’t wait to celebrate the start of the season with them when the first pitch is thrown on Opening Day in Detroit.”

Those attending Tiger games will be required to submit an online wellness survey within 24 hours of entry, wear a face-covering except when actively eating or drinking in their seats, and refrain from bringing bags or purses except for diaper bags or medical kits.

Fans will be seated in pods with at least six feet of distance from other groups, food and beverage items can be ordered in advance via cell phone for express pickup, additional hand sanitation dispensers will be placed throughout the ballpark, and all concessions will accept cashless payment only, with more reverse ATMs being placed throughout the stadium.

According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, outdoor stadiums can reopen to 20 per cent capacity if the facility complies with the latest infection-control plans, publicly posts the mitigation plan, submits those plans to the local health department, and begins a COVID-19 testing program for all athletes.

WXYZ-TV in Detroit reported that the updated order came after criticism from Michiganders over the previous order, which limited capacity to 1,000 people.

Major League Baseball reported via WXYZ that the only club allowing full capacity as of Friday is the Texas Rangers. The most capacity for other clubs allowing fans is just over 40 per cent.

At Little Caesars Arena, limited tickets have been made available for Detroit Pistons and Detroit Red Wings home games. At Ford Field, where the Detroit Lions play, no specific information on tickets for the 2021 season has been released yet.