California

Businesses Around Petco Park Excited for Prospect of Fans on Opening Day

If the county moves into the red tier, outdoor activities could resume with limited capacity at places like theme parks and stadiums

NBC Universal, Inc.

Local officials expect San Diego County to move from the purple tier into the red tier -- metrics used to determine the county's reopening ability -- by the end of March due to decreasing coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.

If the county moves into the red tier, outdoor activities could resume with limited capacity at places like theme parks and stadiums. That means that Petco Park could see as many as 9,000 fans or 20% capacity of its stadium on Opening Day on April 1 when the San Diego Padres are set to play the Arizona Diamondbacks at home.

Business managers around Petco Park were excited to hear the news. Allie Garibay, manager at Bub's at the Ballpark says their business has been down 70 to 80% over the last year because of the restrictions and the lack of fans at the baseball games.

"We're excited, I mean we're ready for this season to start and again go back to a little bit of normalcy, that's the bulk of our sales," Garibay said.

Anna Disipio, manager at the Blind Burro, says her staff has desperately missed the Padres fans.

"It was lonely, you know, you miss the interaction and the excitement with the fans even though those game days can be hectic and hard work, it's also a lot of fun," she said.

They'll be subject to strict conditions, including capacity limits based on a county's rate of COVID-19 spread and required mask-wearing, reports NBC 7's Allison Ash

In addition to stadiums, the new tier would also mean theme parks and outdoor concerts could see a return, and of course, they would also have significantly reduced capacity, mandatory mask-wearing and other public health precautions.

Theme parks like Legoland and Seaworld would be able to have 15% capacity in the red tier.

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