The Texas Rangers baseball team packed its 40,000-seat stadium for Monday’s home opener against the Toronto Blue Jays amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The team announced a sellout crowd of 38,238 at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, just under the stadium’s official capacity, according to reports. That attendance doesn’t include complimentary tickets to the game.
Videos and photos of the crowded ballpark quickly spread across social media.
A look at Globe Life Field where the Texas Rangers are currently playing in front of a full-capacity crowd of 40,000+ fans. pic.twitter.com/fh31UJUVMe
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 5, 2021
— Jeff Wilson (@JeffWilson_FWST) April 5, 2021
— Tim and Friends (@timandfriends) April 5, 2021
Below is the *first* full capacity crowd (40,000 people) at an American sports event since the #COVID19 pandemic hit. The Texas #Rangers are currently the only team among all 4 major pro sports in America to allow full capacity. #OpeningDay pic.twitter.com/cNcqd3mU0U
— Michael Bier (@_DTXMichael) April 5, 2021
Many fans were seen not wearing face masks or coverings or distancing from fellow visitors. The team said prior to the game that it would require face masks or coverings during the game except while eating or drinking.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) ended the state’s mask mandate last month, alongside capacity restrictions on businesses.
Most MLB teams are limiting in-person fan attendance to approximately 25 percent capacity, according to CBS Sports. The Houston Astros will be allowing 50 percent capacity at Minute Maid Park during the month of April.
President BidenJoe BidenBiden should look to ‘Ostpolitik’ to negotiate with autocrats The Hill’s Morning Report – Biden’s infrastructure plan triggers definition debate The Memo: Biden’s bet on taxes MORE last week criticized the Texas team for not placing limits on fans attending the home game, calling it a “mistake.”
“They should listen to Dr. [Anthony] Fauci, the scientists and the experts. But I think it’s not responsible,” Biden said during an interview with ESPN.
Following the home opener, the team will offer “distanced seating” sections for games played in April, which “will allow for more space between occupied seats,” according to its website.
Abbott announced on Monday that he wouldn’t throw out the first pitch at the game after the MLB decided to move the All-Star Game out of Georgia over a recently passed voting law.
“It is shameful that America’s pastime is being influenced by partisan politics,” Abbott said.
Critics have said that Georgia’s voting laws disproportionately limit access to voting for Black Americans.