Opening Day At Guaranteed Rate Field With White Sox Fans Returning; Here's What You Need To know

In just a few hours White Sox fans will be back at Guaranteed Rate Field. With COVID restrictions, today's home opener will look different.

Video Transcript

- Is over. In just a couple of hours, fans are going to be back at Guaranteed Rate Field.

- Oh yeah. The Sox take on the Kansas City Royals this afternoon, but like many things during the pandemic, today's home opener will look different. CBS 2's Mugo Odigwe live at Guaranteed Rate Field for us. Mugo, what changes do Sox fans need to know about this morning?

MUGO ODIGWE: Well, as you mentioned, Audrina, things will be very different today. So we're talking 22% capacity. That's about a little more than 8,000 people who are going to be out here today. Still very exciting, just having fans back out here after more than a year. So for those who are lucky enough to have a ticket to today's game, here is what you need to keep in mind today.

So first things first, and you already know this, you have to have a mask on if you are two or older. A mask is required at all times, aside from when you're eating or drinking of course. Now seats will be arranged in pods in a way that provides six foot of distance in each direction. All tickets are mobile tickets, and concessions will be cashless. Now here to tell us more about what we can expect today is Sheena Quinn, director of public relations. Right?


MUGO ODIGWE: Thank you for being here.

SHEENA QUINN: Welcome back. We're so thrilled to be able to say, "Welcome back to the ballpark." It's going to be a great day here. We're so excited to have fans in the ballpark. Here's what fans are going to need to know. You mentioned the ballpark is completely cashless this year, so make sure you're planning ahead. And then of course, your phone is going to be essential to the experience today. So it'll be mobile ticketing, but your phone is going to be connected-- Your ticket will be connected to a preassigned parking zone, a gate for entry, and then a zone within the ballpark.

So we've created a wonderful map-- 19 neighborhoods, if you will-- within the ballpark that each feature their own concessions, retail, restroom area. Fans will be able to get everything that they need within that zone and then allow them also to just have their own little community within the ballpark. We're really, really excited about it.

MUGO ODIGWE: Well I'm sure a lot of people are excited. So when you say, "cashless," what does that mean? What does that look like?

SHEENA QUINN: So we'll have contactless payment technology at each of the retail and concession locations. So you'll be able to essentially bring a credit card or any sort of [? eform-- ?] Apple Pay, whatever you might need-- come up to the concession stand and then scan in your payment.

MUGO ODIGWE: So you talked about how exciting this is. When we first got here this morning we were talking to Kimberly who helped us get into the stadium, and she was talking about the same thing. Just even people who work here are excited to be back. What's the feeling like?

SHEENA QUINN: Oh my goodness. It's like a holiday every year, and we really, really missed that last year. It was great to have baseball during 2020, but we really missed it without our fans and even our White Sox family here at the ballpark. So everybody is thrilled. It feels like Christmas all over again here in the summer, and we've got some beautiful weather right now to match.

So hopefully it stays that way, but I think Chicago White Sox fans, are they're for baseball in April.

MUGO ODIGWE: Perfect. A lot of people are ready for that. So the gates open at 1:10 this afternoon, and then the game is at 3:10. So very exciting. A lot of people looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to it as well. So I'll send back to you guys in the studio.

- Mugo, thank you.