MIAMI, Fla. - Starting Thursday, fans are returning to the stands at Major League Baseball stadiums across the country as Opening Day arrives. The Tampa Bay Rays will be kicking off their season against the Marlins down in Miami.
Most teams, including the Rays, are limiting capacity at their stadiums, which is just one of several safety changes they’ve made. They will have their home opener next week.
On that day, about 9,000 fans will have the chance to watch from the stands as they take the field at Tropicana Field next Friday.
Most teams around the league Thursday will have strict capacity limitations in place, so it’ll likely be a much quieter Opening Day than in the past. One team, however, will have no capacity limits whatsoever. The Texas Rangers are opening at full capacity.
On an appearance on ESPN Wednesday night, President Joe Biden called the decision a mistake.
"That’s a decision they’ve made. I think it’s a mistake. They should listen to Dr. Fauci and the scientists and the experts," he said. "I would say I’m President of the United States and I got vaccinated. I don’t have an unimportant job. Would I take the vaccine if I thought it was going to hurt me?"
"We have done incredible research on the vaccines and they have shown that they work," the president added. "We have to get to the point where enough people have taken the vaccine so we diminish the possibility for it to spread."
The president went on to say that people need to be responsible right now and continue to wear masks and practice social distancing. Both of which will be required at the Trop as the Rays’ season gets underway.
They’ll play their first three games in Miami before shipping off to Boston. Then, it’s showtime at the Trop next weekend with the Yankees in town. The Rangers drop in next.
And they’ll close out the month of April right at home. Tyler Glasnow will make his first opening day start for the Rays.
First pitch for the Rays vs. Marlins game is at 4:05 p.m.