Starting today, professional baseball teams can fill stadium seating at 25 percent of capacity, although concession stands are to remain closed to enforce a ban on cooking and food handling at ballparks.
CPBL commissioner Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) announced the good news for baseball fans yesterday, with stadiums this evening in Taoyuan and Tainan to be the first to follow the new measures, before further revisions might be made following the weekend.
“Fans in Taiwan have expressed the wish to attend baseball games in person. It requires the CPBL and all five ball clubs to closely collaborate with local and central government officials to establish the necessary prevention measures at ballparks,” Tsai said in a statement.
Photo: Chen Chih-chu, Taipei Times
League officials called for most tickets to be purchased online in advance, with only limited ticket sales at parks on game day.
Fans must scan a QR code with a mobile phone for real-name registration at the gates, then league staff take their temperatures and disinfect their hands with an alcohol spray, according to the guidelines announced yesterday.
The fans’ designated seats are staggered to comply with social distancing, CPBL head media liaison Tai Si-sung (戴嗣松) said.
“Concession stands will be closed to comply with bans on cooking and handling food, but fans can bring snacks and drinks from outside, although they must wear a mask throughout the game, except for eating and drinking,” he added.
Having fans and cheerleaders is certain to provide a more lively atmosphere during the games, but traditional baseball rallying with trumpets, drums, whistles and musical instruments is still banned.
This week’s games only offer infield seating.
Today’s game hosted by the CTBC Brothers at Taichung is to allow up to 2,400 fans, while the game hosted by the Uni-President Lions in Tainan, which is a smaller stadium, is to allow up to 1,250 spectators, team officials said.
In Sunday’s contest, Wei Chuan Dragons rookie pitcher Hsu Jo-hsi (徐若熙) set a new CPBL record by striking out eight straight batters to start the game, and picked up his first win with 5-1 victory over Fubon Guardians at New Taipei’s Sinjhuang Stadium.
Hsu tossed five scoreless innings, finishing with 12 strikeouts, while yielding two hits and two walks in a gem, and with Japanese closer Junichi Tazawa came in the ninth inning to shut the door against the anemic-hitting Guardians.
CTBC Brothers are in first place in league standing prior to Monday’s contest, 2.5 games ahead of the Lions, and 4.5 games ahead of Rakuten Monkeys in third, with Fubon Guardians and Wei Chuan Dragons in fourth and fifth places respectively.
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