'Take me out to the ballpark!': Bay Area baseball teams preparing to welcome back fans

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Starting in April, California theme parks, ballparks and outdoor live shows will be able to welcome back visitors. On Friday, Bay Area Baseball fans said they are looking forward to a game.

"It's been a year. It's been crazy," said San Francisco resident, Efren Santos-Cucalon.

RELATED: Outdoor spectator sports like MLB can resume with fans for CA counties in red tier starting next month

Santos-Cucalon and his wife Ann Jones, are Giants season ticket holders and were elated to learn that starting April 1, right on time for baseball season, fans will be allowed back in outdoor stadiums if COVID cases continue to fall.

"Take me out to the ballpark," exclaimed Jones, who said she and are husband are vaccinated and ready for a game.

"A beer, a dog, sun, action, you can't get any better than that," said Santos-Cucalon.

"Last year we only had cardboard cut outs. To have real fans back, our players are fired up. It's going to be a great moment for the East Bay," said Oakland A's president, Dave Kaval, who explained how they plan to keep fans and staff safe.

"We're adhering to the state guidelines, keeping people in pods of two or four. Obviously mandatory mask wearing everyone in the stadium, concessions will be delivered to your actual location, we have a testing program for our game day staff to ensure they're safe."

As for the mass vaccination site at the Oakland Coliseum parking lot, Kaval said, "We've designed the mass vaccination site to actually be compatible with a socially distanced 10,000 seat Coliseum event. So the two can operate at the same time. In the North lot is the vaccination site, in the South lot is parking for the actual games, and the two can co-exist in a meaningful way."
Right now San Francisco is in the red tier. Alameda County is still in the purple tier.

Stadium capacity as it relates to COVID cases will work according to tier. Counties in the red tier can play to a capacity of 20%, in the orange tier 33%, and in the yellow tier 67%.

UCSF epidemiologist, Dr. George Rutherford, says that because millions of Californians have either been vaccinated or previously infected, group outdoor activities have become safer. "We're pushing maybe as high as 40% of people are immune in the state right now and that's only going to accumulate as we vaccinate more and more people."

ABC7 news reporter, Kate Larsen, spoke to Giants CEO, Larry Baer, on Wednesday who said that he hopes baseball will be a force for good. "We just look forward to everybody healing and baseball being a part of that healing."

The Giants will be giving priority to people who bought tickets to games last season, that couldn't be used. The A's are selling undated ticket vouchers.

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