Here’s the COVID-19 Stuff to Know if You’re Going to Reds Opening Day 2021

The Cincinnati Reds are preparing to hit the field, the sun is emerging, the Cracker Jack is popping and COVID-19 is almost in the rearview mirror.Emphasis on almost.

Great American Ball Park is ready for Cincinnati Reds fans once again. - Photo: Francisco Huerta Jr.
Photo: Francisco Huerta Jr.
Great American Ball Park is ready for Cincinnati Reds fans once again.


Take in that Opening Day scent! The Cincinnati Reds are preparing to hit the field, the sun is emerging, the Cracker Jack is popping and COVID-19 is almost in the rearview mirror.

Emphasis on almost. COVID-19 cases seem to be on the rise again in Ohio and the surrounding states, so be careful.

Because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, heading to Great American Ball Park for Opening Day on April 1 won’t be business as usual. But since this will be the first time fans will be permitted at the ballpark since approximately 2734928749 days ago, does anyone even remember “business as usual?

So in the age of COVID, here’s what to expect when you head into the park on Thursday:

Fewer fans

Outdoor stadiums are resuming activity at up to 30% capacity, per state public health orders (Great American Ball Park’s capacity is a little over 42,200). But fewer fans means you’ll have more space to put up your feet and shorter lines to wait for Dippin’ Dots.

Masks are required

Unless you’re continually eating or drinking at your seat, you’ll need to wear a mask at all times. And wear it properly — not hanging under your chin or below your nose.

No touching

Paper tickets are so from the Before Times. Now you’ll use your phone to show gate guards your tickets. Likewise, park officials are asking fans to use contactless or cash-free payment options at concession or merch stands.

Go the distance

Thousands of people will once again be within the confines of the Great American Ball Park, so you’ll still be required to maintain at least 6 feet of distance between you and those outside your group. Yes, even in the restroom.

Pod gods

You’d better like your friends because they’ll be the only ones you’re sitting with. Fans are grouped in pods, with a recommendation that people within the pod be part of the same household. Pods also will be distanced from one another.

No balls

Sorry, Mike Moustakas won’t be tossing a warmup ball your way. Major League Baseball isn’t permitting players to sign autographs or give fans their, uh, balls.

Avoid the elevator

Great American Ball Park is permitting only four people per elevator ride, so if you’re free of mobility issues, you should try to find alternate ways to scale the concourse floors.

Be a clean-up hitter. Or at least clean.

There will be soap and hand sanitizer throughout the park. Use both frequently, for your health as well as the health of all the workers and fans you’ll encounter.

Learn more about all of the Reds’ public health protocols on the team’s “Cover Your Bases” campaign page.

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