The Phillies have announced the COVID-19 safety protocols that will be in place as a limited number of fans return to Citizens Bank Park next month.
ANNIE MCCORMICK: Welcome back to Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies officials telling us today, things are going to be a little different this season, but it's still going to be a great season. Walking in here, you can see that there are hand sanitizer stations that are throughout the entire area.
I want to give you a look at what you can eat when you come to the ballpark. You can see Boardwalk Eats here, all of your favorite spots, like Chickies and Pete's and Federal Donuts. They're all going to be open, just like a normal year. There's going to be a few changes, though. There's going to be contactless payment options over here, where you can either do it, if you're a tech savvy person and you have Apple Pay or something of that nature, or you can just use your credit card as well. That's one of the things that they're having here in regard to a number of the changes.
I also want to take you over here to the seating section as well, and I'll give you an idea of how they're going to figure all that out, with 800 fans that they're expecting to come in here. Of course, 800 fans is now, for the time being, that's a number that the Phillies have come up with the city of Philadelphia. Even though the state is allowed to go to 50% capacity starting April 4, Philadelphia has their own restrictions in place, and that's why it's a little bit stricter than it would be at maybe other ballparks across the country while we're still going through this pandemic.
But over here, you can see, here's some seats. We got some open seating here, and then for the seats where they're showing you that they want social distancing, they have zipties that are put in place. It depends on the rows, with how many seats they do have open.
Now, they are sold out for Opening Day, which is Thursday, April 1, which is next week. However, the first 19 games, they are on sale right now. After those games, then there's going to still be sales going on, moving forward, but they're probably really hoping that those sales will include more fans that will be able to come into the stadium. Of course, depending on the restrictions.
So we asked Philly officials today, are you basically having a trial run with the city to see if things all go well, then you'll be able to open up more, and maybe even increase the capacity, just here within the city of Philadelphia? They tell us that there's no date, there's no mark set in place. They were told by the city to be flexible.
As we've been reporting, Dr. Farley has reported that a number of the cases are going up. So that's something that they are watching. Officials here, of course, stressing they want to make sure that people are safe. That is paramount. But take a look at the field. How good does that feel, to be inside of the stadium, looking at the field right now, as we're about to start into baseball season.
So here's hoping that everybody masks up. In fact, if you come on Opening Day, you're going to be getting one of these masks. The Philly Phanatic gave it to me. And people are just hoping here that everybody plays by the rules, does everything right, so that we can continue to have our new normal, if you will, or just a regular normal, and get back to all that.
So if you're coming to the game next Thursday, go Phils, and if you're a little bit wary, and you want to see how things go, maybe the first game, the first couple of games, watch, look at maybe social media, watch our reports, and we'll let you know how people are feeling about it, if they feel safe, and maybe you'll want to head out to a Phillies game in the next couple of weeks.