On a day when discussions about pushing spring training in Arizona back due to COVID-19 concerns made headlines, Giants CEO Larry Baer posted a letter to fans that expressed optimism about filling Oracle Park with actual, non-cardboard, human beings for the 2021 season.
“While our state and country continue to face many challenges resulting from the pandemic,” Baer wrote. “I am feeling more optimistic as vaccines begin to become available in our communities. We certainly have a ways to go until we get past the pandemic, but we are encouraged and can see a pathway to welcoming our fans back to Oracle Park.”
Baer reiterated that all plans — which include specific approaches to hygiene, ballpark access, ticketing and transportation among other things — are subject to approval from the City and County of San Francisco Public Health officials, who continue to have “ultimate authority on determining when we can re-open Oracle Park.” Because of that, it is likely that rules regarding fan attendance will vary from team to team throughout the 2021 season.
Here are the specifics of the Giants’ plans for accommodating fans this season, plans that were previously approved by the SF Department of Public Health last year:
Health, Safety & Hygiene — We have developed and initiated best-in-class standards for a clean and healthy venue and we recently achieved GBAC (Global Biorisk Advisory Council) Accreditation for our sanitation practices. We have initiated robust Covid testing for all of our employees working at Oracle Park. Since last year, we have operated and will expand a strict App-based health screening program for anyone entering the ballpark.
Ballpark Access, Concessions & Experience — We are exploring modifications to our entry experience to maintain security and enhance health and safety. Health screenings, face coverings and social distancing will initially be required in all areas of the ballpark in 2021. We expect to substantially modify how employees and fans navigate Oracle Park with an enhanced wayfinding program.
Plans are also being developed to offer a complete Oracle Park food and beverage experience utilizing the MLB Ballpark app.
Ticketing and Ballpark Seating
We are preparing seating plans that enable social distancing and conform with any additional health and safety requirements. Plans will prioritize Season Ticket Members (STMs) and make best efforts to maintain their seat locations. Traditional ticket selling will be impacted by the pandemic and we are developing plans and products to meet the needs of fans in this unique environment.
The pandemic has had major impacts on the transportation system that serves the ballpark. The Giants are working with all transit operators to be sure fans continue to have a wide array of transit options to access Oracle Park in 2021 and beyond. The Giants are also developing new parking options for those who drive or bicycle to Oracle Park. The Giants will continue to actively support and promote the ease of walking or utilizing ride-share.
Keeping our Fans Informed
Given the current uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, our planning will continue to evolve as new information becomes available. Our goal is to keep you informed every step of the way. In the next few weeks, we will launch our FanSafe Program to provide you with regular pre-season updates and to offer additional information on health and safety planning as we move closer to re-opening the ballpark.
On behalf of the entire Giants organization, I want to thank you for your continued support and patience as we navigate these challenging times. I hope you and your loved ones remain safe and healthy in this new year and we can’t wait to welcome you back to Oracle Park as soon as it is safe to do so.