SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Springfield Cardinals baseball is nearly here as Hammons Field gears up for the opening day.
On Tuesday, May 4, people will be filing through the gates but there will be a few changes.
“We hope fans understand some of these changes we’re forced to do, but none of them happen lightly,” said Dan Reiter, Vice President, and general manager.
There will be some new rules for fans at Hammons Field this season, and the staff says that strict protocols are better than an empty stadium.
First rule: Wear a mask.
“We know that there are some fans that won’t come back until they don’t have to wear a mask, and honestly, we respect every fans’ decision,” said Reiter.
Tickets have been cut by about half which means there’s a limit of about 2,300 seats. Typically, the stadium can hold more than 6,000 people and for the past three seasons, the attendance has been around 4,800.
“It’s going to look a lot different than it has before to see some areas very empty and some very full,” said Reiter. “It’s also going to be all digital tickets.”
The stadium will be going cashless this year as well.
“It might make a few people nervous, but the research actually shows it makes your wait time go faster, but it also reduces touchpoints,” said Reiter.
This will be the first time the Cardinals have opened their season at home since 2016 and their first game since 2019.
“It’s going to be about 610 days until we play baseball here,” said Reiter. “There’s pent-up demand for fans, and pent-up demand for our staff.”
However, parking will be an issue as nearby parking lots will be charging $20 per game.
“I do hope people find other parking,” said Reiter. “I hope fans will do the best they can to show that they are upset about it…and it’s heartbreaking. We hate the fact that JD Holdings and Atrium Hospitality are treating our fans this way. They are not communicating with us, they are just setting the prices that they want. And we think that they are completely unreasonable and acting out of bad faith in Springfield, Missouri.”
Ozark Technical Community College will be offering up extra parking for those wanting to attend the game. Tickets will be sold through the end of the month.
Click here for a full list of the requirements if you are attending the game.