FORT MYERS, Fla. — On Friday, the first sounds of baseball will ring out in Fort Myers, Florida as Twins pitchers and catchers take the field for the beginning of spring training.
Major League Baseball suggested postponing the start of the season by more than a month, proposing that spring training start at the end of March instead of the usual February date, citing COVID concerns for both players and fans. The players union rejected the offer.
“We do not make this decision lightly. Players know first-hand the efforts that were required to complete the abbreviated 2020 season, and we appreciate that significant challenges lie ahead. We look forward to promptly finalizing enhanced health and safety protocols that will help players and clubs meet these challenges,” the union said in a statement released at the beginning of February.
A limited number of fans will be able to attend the spring training games at Hammond Stadium in Florida.
According to a press release from the Twins, 28% of the stadium's normal capacity, or just over 2,400 fans, will be allowed to attend. The team has developed a "physically-distanced seating plan" where sets of two or four seats will be sold. Because of the limited number of seats this spring, the Twins announced that they will be discontinuing season and group ticket plans.
Twins Spring Training season-ticket holders will have first access, according to team officials.
“Fans are truly what make baseball great, and the Minnesota Twins are beyond thrilled to begin safely welcoming ours back into ballparks for the 2021 season...We are confident in the protocols and procedures we are putting into place at the CenturyLink Sports Complex, and we look forward to again seeing our fans inside Hammond Stadium for Twins Spring Training baseball,” said club President & CEO Dave St. Peter in a statement.
More information about the spring training schedule and tickets is available here.