When the San Francisco Giants take the field against the Angels on Feb. 27, they'll play in front of some of their fans for the first time in nearly a full year.
The Giants have received approval from Major League Baseball and the city of Scottsdale to host between 750 and 1,000 fans per game during the Cactus League season, which kicks off in a little under three weeks.
In a statement put out Wednesday afternoon, they said current season ticket holders at Scottsdale Stadium will have the first priority to purchase tickets and will be contacted this week.
Seats will be sold in pods of two or four and will be distanced from other pods. Fans will be required to wear face coverings and practice social distancing while inside the ballpark, which normally has a capacity of about 12,000.
The announcement comes during a week when COVID-19 rates are improving in Arizona, but remain concerning. The state announced Wednesday that it's seven-day, new-case average now ranks 10th in the nation. For much of the past month, Arizona has been the No. 1 hot spot in the United States.
Still, there are concerns. Arizona's daily death rate ranks fourth in the nation, with 176 new deaths reported Wednesday and a total of over 14,000 since the pandemic began.
The Giants are hopeful that they'll have a limited number of fans at Oracle Park when they return home April 9. They are working on similar plans to have fans sit in pods, but ultimately their fate is up to city and county health officials. San Francisco has been as restrictive as any city during the pandemic, while the Phoenix area has had much looser COVID-19 guidelines.