The last time Padres fans had a chance to see their playoff contenders in person was Spring Training of 2020. The next time they'll get that chance will be Spring Training of 2021.
The Peoria Sports Complex, in accordance with local, state and Major League Baseball COVID-19 protocols, will operate at 16% capacity, which adds up to 1,960 fans in the ballpark for Padres home Cactus League games.
Starting on Wednesday, February 24, at 8:00 a.m. San Diego time, tickets will be available to purchase in pods of two seats, three seats, four seats and individual seats in the seating bowl. Berm seating in the outfield lawn area will also be available in pods of two, four or six.
Padres season ticket members will have access to a special presale on Tuesday, February 23 beginning at 9:00 a.m. San Diego time. Tickets can be purchased at www.padres.com/springtraining.
But, as I'm sure you're expecting, there are rules to follow.
Fans over the age of two will be required to wear masks at all times, except when actively eating or drinking in assigned seats. All food, beverage and merchandise transactions will be cashless to reduce touch points and no bags of any kind will be allowed in the stadium to expedite the entry process. One inside, patrons will also be asked to practice social distancing and limit movement within the ballpark.
While Spring Training is usually a great time for fans to get autographs from players and coaches, signing will not be permitted this year.
One more thing to keep in mind is a new MLB rule this year that allows games to be shortened from nine innings to seven or five innings is the managers mutually agree to give their players a rest.
But, I'm sure that's a trade many Padres fans will gladly make to see their team in-person again. The club is still working out a plan for fans to attend regular season games at Petco Park but hopes to have around 20% capacity when the Friars open the season on April 1 against the Diamondbacks.
More information on health and safety guidelines for Cactus League games is available at www.peoriasportscomplex.com.
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