DENVER — There may not be 50,000 fans at Coors Field on Opening Day, but there will be plenty of excitement.
The 21,000 fans fortunate enough to score tickets for Thursday’s game will find new rules in place. Just like at their favorite coffee shop or restaurant, fans will see signs mandating masks and social distancing requirements.
They will also notice that concession stands have gone “cashless.”
Raymond Duarte Jr. and his father, Raymond Duarte, nabbed a couple of tickets early Wednesday.
“I’m pretty pumped. I get to see all the players I like on my team,” said Duarte Jr. said.
His father called it the best thing on Earth.
“Opening Day — I looked forward to it growing up,” he said. “My dad always took me, so I want to take my son.”
The Duartes will notice a few differences from Opening Days past.
The mask requirement applies to both the concourse and the seating area. The rule: Keep your mask on, unless you’re eating or drinking.
Fans will also notice plenty of signs mandating six feet of separation.
“Obviously, with what we do during pregame, we’re going to have to modify what we’ve done in the past, because we can’t really access the field,” said Rockies’ Vice President of Corporate Partnerships Walker Monfort.
Monfort said the Color Guard will be in the stands, instead of on the field.
He said there will be a flyover, so fans will want to be in their seats by 1:30 p.m.
Greg Feasel, the Rockies chief operating officer, said the restrictions are for health safety.
“Hopefully that’s short-lived,” he said. “Then we can get back to color guards, anthem singers, schools down on the field, but tomorrow you won’t see that.”
Kellan Srur of Fan Fare said if you’re planning to buy snacks, bring a credit card.
“We’re going cash-less this year,” he said. “We also have cash-to-card machines, so if fans do come here with only cash, they will be able to convert that into a debit card format that they can use anywhere in the ballpark, and also outside the ballpark as well.”
Devoted Rockies’ fan Gary Adler said he will be watching the game on TV.
“Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a ticket for Opening Day for just one person,” he said. “They don’t have one-person seating because of COVID. This is only the second year I’m going to miss Opening Day since they started.”
That’s a tough pill to swallow for a die-hard fan who had hoped to enjoy the game in person, on a day that’s expected to warm up to 70 degrees.
“It’s usually snowing on Opening Day, right?” he said, laughing. “Every year.”
Many fans who were unable to get tickets will still hang around the lower downtown area to soak up the atmosphere.
The new McGregor Square development, which includes the Rally Hotel, will be a likely destination.
McGregor Square will eventually be home to an upper end sports bar, several restaurants, a food hall, condos and the the Tattered Cover book store.
The plaza in the middle of the development includes a big screen, which screams, “Come check me out.”
Many Rockies fans are likely to do just that.