Texas Rangers host near-capacity crowd for home opener

Texas Rangers fans packed the house.

Globe Life Field nearly sold out on Monday — COVID-19 concerns be damned — with an estimated 40,000 fans on hand to root, root, root for the home team as the Rangers took on the Toronto Blue Jays in Arlington, Tex. 

While several Major League teams are opening up portions of their ballparks to fans, the Rangers went to 100 percent capacity for Monday. The team will operate at less than full capacity moving forward to allow for socially distanced seating.

Fans were required to wear facemasks and concessions were made cashless to avoid more physical contact.

In March, Gov. Greg Abbott urged state businesses to open up and ended a statewide mask mandate as COVID-19 numbers declined. 

“We waited for one year to open this business with Rangers fans in it. Certainly excited when the governor issued the executive order on March 2 to give us that capability,” said Rob Matwick, the Rangers executive vice president of ballpark operations. “When we found out that would be the opportunity we certainly look forward to welcoming as many fans as we can this season.”

Abbott, however, was not on hand for the game, declining to throw out the first pitch in protest of Major League Baseball moving this year’s All-Star Game and draft out of Atlanta in response to the recently enacted voting laws. 

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