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Texas Rangers announce 100 percent occupancy for Opening Day

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This move could potentially be a public health disaster. How do the Cubs’ precautions compare?

Globe Life Field in Texas, shown during the 2020 World Series, will be open to full capacity on Opening Day 2021
Photo by Maxx Wolfson/Getty Images

Earlier Wednesday, the Texas Rangers announced that Globe Life Field would be open to its full capacity for two exhibition games and Opening Day:

Every seat will be available — enough to accommodate 40,518 fans — for two preseason exhibition games against the Milwaukee Brewers on March 29-30 and the April 5 home opener.

Fans will be required to wear masks and follow other protocols that remain in place, such as maintaining social distancing while entering and exiting the ballpark and while in line at concession stands.

After Opening Day, the Rangers are going to sell tickets in “pods” similar to what’s going to be done at Wrigley Field:

Following the home opener, the Rangers will offer socially distanced seating in some sections of the ballpark with seats available in pods of two or four. The Rangers will accommodate season-ticket holders who aren’t comfortable coming to games by loosening their standard exchange policy.

The Rangers say they’re “confident” that they won’t be a “super-spreader event,” per the linked article above. While it is true that vaccination rates are increasing and caseloads of COVID-19 are dropping, we are not out of the woods yet. I hope the Rangers are right.

That’s why this note relating to the Cubs and Wrigley Field is important:

We don’t know if contact tracing like that can be done for Wrigley Field’s 20 percent capacity, much less a full house at Globe Life Field in Texas. But to me, it seems as if not allowing a full house in Texas would be a better idea than 100 percent capacity, even if they’re doing that for only three games.

I have reached out to the Cubs for comment on this and will update this article with any response.