It's been almost two years since fans were inside PNC Park but that all changes today when fans return for Opening Day. KDKA's Lindsay Ward is live at PNC Park with all the safety protocols in place.
- As we're talking about opening day for the Bucs, this all comes, of course, after the pandemic delayed the 2020 season.
- Yeah, that delay left players taking the field without any fans in the stands. But that all changes today as we're now counting down the last few hours till the first pitch at PNC Park. Lindsay Ward joins us live from inside the ball park to preview all the fun and excitement. And good morning, Lindsay. You have a great assignment today.
LINDSAY WARD: David, good morning to you. Heather, good morning to you as well. And thank you. It just feels good to be here. No fan has been able to come inside PNC Park since 2019. So it certainly has been a long time coming.
And something you want to mention is that even when you step inside, it feels amazing, but you also notice the changes that had to be made to make sure everyone remains safe. We're talking about only 25% capacity inside PNC Park. That's to allow the 6-foot distancing. In total, that's around 9,000 fans allowed in here.
Everything will be cashless. Keep in mind that includes concessions as well as clubs. There are new signs throughout the park as well. So people will know where to sit or where to walk. This is all in effort to keep not just the workers, but the fans safe, and to really enjoy just a good game of baseball.
Fans must always wear a mask unless they're eating or drinking. And right now the organization is only selling tickets for the first two months of home games. But changes could be made based on CDC recommendations. They do hope eventually that they can let more fans in.
Important to note here, no tailgating is allowed outside of PNC Park. The home opener begins at 1:35 this afternoon. The Pirates are playing against the Chicago Cubs.
And I'll have much more later on this morning about the food that's going to be here, some of the steps you have to take in order to purchase it. Just a lot of changes coming up, and I'll detail that for you on KDKA. Reporting live inside PNC Park, I'm Lindsay Ward. Back to you.
- Lindsay, what's it even feel like just to be in there?
- I mean, no fans have been in there in more than a year.
LINDSAY WARD: Yeah, I mean, it's different because when you come in, there's a lot of different signage. There's markings on the floor to let you know that you have to keep that distance, David. There's also signs on the walls to make sure that you are being safe, being around people.
And also, something that's really interesting is about the concessions here. Everything is cashless. So don't think you could come in with a $20 and purchase anything. It's not going to happen. They have different ways to set up, and everything basically needs to be done on your phone. And that includes your tickets as well.
- A lot of changes there. Lindsay, thanks so much. We'll check back in with you in just a little while.