PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — The New York Mets began their home spring training schedule Tuesday afternoon at Clover Park in Port St. Lucie.
The Mets defeated the Houston Astros by a score of 2-0 with pitcher Marcus Stroman picking up the win.
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Due to the ongoing pandemic, Clover Park is only allowing about 1,400 fans per game. This is only about 20 percent capacity for the
If you don't have a ticket now, you could be out of luck. Tickets for the Mets this spring sold out in just nine minutes.
"It's a sense of normalcy getting to go to a game again," said Christoper Saitta of Orlando, who attended Tuesday's game.
Tickets this spring are available in pods ranging from one to six seats. Each pod is at least 6 feet from other pods.
Fans are required to wear masks that cover their nose and mouth unless they are eating or drinking.
"We have mask protocols, which our ushers will be carrying around signs making people aware to keep their masks on unless they're actively eating or drinking," Paul Taglieri, Mets executive director of minor league facilities.
Other CDC protocols will be in place at the stadium including hand sanitizing stations and social distancing markers. Fans are encouraged to use credit or debit cards when paying for food.
Crews are constantly cleaning and sanitizing the stadium, even during games.
Among those in attendance was Stu Dolgon, who has driven up from Boynton Beach the last eight years to make the spring opener.
"I got the second vaccine shot a week ago, so I knew I had a good chance to be able to get here," Dolgon said.
Pandemic protocols will keep fans from getting too close to the players with many of the practice fields are off-limits this spring. But that seems to be a small concession for fans who have been waiting for games to start.
"Baseball is so fun to watch. [I've] always been involved with baseball, softball, anything. The Mets are just that feel-good team," Mets fan Ashtyn Hylton said.
Major League Baseball revamped its spring training schedule because of the pandemic, cutting travel for Florida-based teams in an effort to minimize coronavirus risks.
The Mets made some key offseason transactions, including trading for All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor, that will have the club competing for the National League East title.
"Very excited to have 1,400 people here, and hopefully it's just a big step toward having some normalcy in this world," Taglieri said.