CLEVELAND — Last season, Cleveland Indians fans were unable to attend games due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In their place, cardboard cutouts were placed around Progressive Field, but those cutouts might be finding their way into a recycling bin soon as the Indians organization is making preparations in hopes fans can return this season.
The Indians have partnered with the Cleveland Clinic to provide health and safety guidance to the club in anticipation of fans being able to return for the 2021 season.
Pandemic response experts as well as physicians from the Cleveland Clinic will work with the Indians organization to provide up-to-date guidance on how to safely return fans to the ballpark as the season approaches.
Included in the guidance will be health and training safety for staff, guidelines and disinfection plans for the venue, and branding around the ballpark to remind fans of health guidelines.
The organization said it will announce more detailed protocols and procedures as they continue working towards the “hopeful return of fans.”
In addition to receiving guidance from partners at the Cleveland Clinic, the Indians will also have protocols and procedures set by recommendations from the Cleveland Department of Public Health, state orders from Gov. Mike DeWine and recommendations from Major League Baseball.
“We are extremely fortunate to have one of the top medical centers in the world in our backyard to partner with and lead us in fan health and safety at Progressive Field,” said Neil Weiss, Cleveland Indians Senior Vice President, Ballpark Operations and Chief Information Officer. “We look forward to the day when we can welcome the best fans in baseball back to the ballpark.”
While fans returning to Progressive Field have not been set in stone, the partnership with Cleveland Clinic and the forthcoming plans are a promising sign for a return to some sort of normalcy as the season draws near.
Currently, the league is set to host opening day on April 1 with Spring Training set to begin Feb. 17.
Some have expressed concern with the COVID-19 pandemic still not under control, but the Major League Baseball Players Association has said it is continuing to devote its efforts into ensuring the baseball season starts as safely as possible.