Reds news: Great American Ball Park set to open at 30-percent capacity

CINCINNATI, OH - MARCH 30: A general view during the national anthem prior to the Opening Day game between the Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals at Great American Ball Park. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - MARCH 30: A general view during the national anthem prior to the Opening Day game between the Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals at Great American Ball Park. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Fans have not been allowed to take in Cincinnati Reds baseball game at Great American Ball Park since Marty Brennaman’s farewell on Thursday, September 26, 2019. That’s all about to change as Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has approved the Reds plans to re-open GABP to the fans beginning with the team’s Opening Day game versus the St. Louis Cardinals on April 1st.

GABP will be open at 30% capacity, which would seat approximately 12,600 fans. Several health and safety measures will be in place as well including facial coverings, contactless entry and food purchases, as well as socially distant seating arrangements.

Reds fans will be back at Great American Ball Park in 2021.

Tickets are not yet on sale, but the Reds will surely make an announcement when that information becomes available. One change of note; players will not be allowed to toss balls into the stands nor sign autographs for fans. Backpacks will not be allowed inside Great American Ball Park either.

The Cleveland Indians will be allowed to welcome their fans back to Progressive Field with the same types of restrictions. About 10,500 will be able to be seated for Indians’ games heading into the 2021 season.

After pumping in fake crowd noise for the Reds 30 home games last season, we’ll actually get some real fan reactions in 2021. This will be a welcome change for Cincinnati slugger Eugenio Suárez, who mentioned yesterday via MLB.com that he missed the support from the fans and his family:

"“For me, it was harder because my family wasn’t with me. I wanted my family back, I wanted that support, and I wanted the fan support.”"

Great American Ball Park saw less than 30% capacity on eight different occasions during the 2019 season, but with baseball fans starved to see live action up close and personal, it’s hard to imagine that most games won’t be a sellout.

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According to Governor DeWine, the 30% capacity is a start, and if the situation surrounding the coronavirus improves, perhaps the number of fans allowed into Great American Ball Park could increase later this spring or summer. Reds baseball is back, folks!