MLB is allowing fans to attend the National League Championship Series and World Series.
Baseball announced a plan on Wednesday to sell limited tickets for both series scheduled to take place in Arlington, Texas.
“In conjunction with the Texas Rangers, MLB will make approximately 11,500 tickets available for each game with 10,550 fans spread throughout the ballpark and 950 in suites,” a statement from MLB reads.
The American League Championship Series scheduled to take place in San Diego is not expected to permit fans, per state guidelines in California regarding COVID-19.
NLCS tickets will be priced between $40 and $250. World Series tickets will sell for between $75 and $450. Seats will be sold in groups of four called pods that are separated from other pods. Fans will be required to wear masks when not eating or drinking.
All seats will be at least 20 feet away from players.
Texas to host games, fans
The NLCS is slated to start on Oct. 12, and the World Series will start on Oct. 20, with both series scheduled to be played at Globe Life Field, the home stadium of the Texas Rangers.
The MLB postseason started on Tuesday following a shortened regular season that saw teams travel as normal amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Fans were not permitted to attend games. Teams continue to travel and play in empty stadiums during the wild-card round the playoffs.
No travel for later rounds of postseason
The later rounds of the playoffs will shift to sites in Texas and California. American League series will take place in San Diego and Los Angeles, while National League series will take place in Arlington and Houston starting with the League Division Series.
The idea is to limit travel and subsequent COVID-19 risks for later rounds as the stakes increase. Baseball saw multiple COVID-19 outbreaks during the regular season as teams traveled.
[ Check out our favorite MLB playoff gear from Breaking T ]
The plan was also pitched as a bubble concept similar to one the NBA has been operating successfully with all games being played on an isolated Disney World campus outside Orlando, Florida.
With fans allowed at the games in Texas, the bubble concept is no longer in play.
COVID-19 still persists
Texas has relaxed COVID-19 guidelines, with Republican Gov. Greg Abbott announcing in June that sports facilities could operate at 50 percent capacity. Fans are not expected to attend the NLCS as California has stricter COVID-19 guidelines.
The news arrives amid forecasts of a fall wave of COVID-19 cases as seasons change and restrictions are relaxed. A forecast presented by the University of Washington in early September predicted the death toll in the United States to rise to 410,000 by the end of the year.
As of Wednesday, Johns Hopkins data showed that the United States claimed 7.2 million of the world’s 33.8 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and 207,000 of the 1 million global deaths attributed to the pandemic.
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