It will be a little different, but Oracle Park is once again open to the public.
For at least the first homestand starting on Friday afternoon, Oracle park will be open to around 8,000 people. So what can you expect if you are one of the lucky few able to get a ticket? Giants CEO Larry Baer broke it down with Murph & Mac on Friday morning, explaining that the biggest difference is the amount of space between groups or pods of fans.
“Essentially the difference when you get in is you are going to be sitting in pods,” Baer said. “You’ll have elbow room, that’s the good news. The bad news is you won’t be able to high five a stranger who is sitting next to you. Which is the great part of the magic of the ballpark and is also something that I think we can wait for a little bit, and that little bit may not be 2022, it may be just down the road, a month or two.”
Additionally, many of the traditional communal gathering spots in and around the park will be closed, including the portwalk, the coke slide and the kids area next to it. Fans will still be able to wander around the park, but are encouraged to do so sparingly.
“We’d like for people not to do too much wandering. That’s kind’ve the signature of the park, and you do it happily, and it’s not like anybody is going to be restricting you, but we are trying to avoid crowding as far as people come in especially. So we’re specially encouraging that. There’s lots of room to spread out in your pods of two and four, but come early just to get through the gate process.”
Usually wandering around the park is a requirement when it comes to finding food. That will be different too, as fans are required to order food from the in-stadium app on their phones. The good news is that most of your favorite selections will be available. The bad news is, not all of them will.
“In terms of ordering food, we’re going to ask you to use the app which is super simple to download. We had a test run a few days ago and it worked well. You download what you want, you’ll be able to get your garlic fries, your dogs, your beers, etc.
“I’m going to be completely honest, I don’t think the crab sandwiches made the cut…I think we are going to be bereft of crab sandwiches and Cha Cha Bowls but I think we’ve got everything else. That’s a first homestand protocol.”
Baer also reflected on how special it will be to have fans back in the ballpark after over a year.
I hope you’re able to just reflect a little bit on it. I actually teared up a little bit Tuesday night when we did a dry run of all of our systems and we had Giants employees at the ballpark. The red, white and blue bunting and the ‘Welcome Home’ signs and the green grass, it is the sport that offers the most generational connection to your youth, or if you are a youth, the wow factor of being in a beautiful space…Hopefully we’ll all take a moment and be grateful, because we lost it as fans, and I think there was a big hole in all of our hearts to not have it in our lives.
Listen to the full interview below.