After a strange year of cardboard cutout fans in the stands, the 2021 Cardinals season will look a little more normal with real fans in attendance.

Earlier today, the St. Louis Cardinals announced that the 2021 season will allow Cardinals fans inside Busch Stadium for the games beginning on Thursday, April 8. This is huge news for folks in the area, as we have quite a few Cardinals fans in the Tri-State area who love to attend games. For some, it's a family tradition each summer. That tradition came to a halt last season as a result of the pandemic.

Clearly the pandemic is not over, but things are starting to become a little more normal, and this is a prime example. After careful consideration from the Cardinals organization, the St. Louis mayor, and local health officials, they have decided that fans can return at 32% capacity at Busch Stadium this year. Declining infection and positivity rates of COVID-19 in the St. Louis area resulted in this news.

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According to a press release from the St. Louis Cardinals, there will be several new protocols and policies implemented to ensure the health and safety of everyone in attendance this season. These include:

Socially-distanced seating: Guests will be seated in pods of four or less with a minimum distance of 6-feet between seating pods in all directions.

Masks required: Masks will be required at all times in all areas of the stadium, including the seating bowl, unless guests are actively eating and drinking in their ticketed seats.

Mobile-only ticketing: All game tickets will be delivered via the MLB Ballpark app, ensuring a touchless entry into the ballpark.

Cashless transactions: Concession stands, kiosks and other retail transactions made in the stadium will be cashless and only offer credit and debit payment options. Debit cards will be available for purchase using cash with no service fees at a limited number of locations inside the stadium.

Designated entry gates: Guests will be directed to enter and exit the stadium through one of six designated entry gates to expedite the process and limit crowding at any one entrance. A designated entry gate will be noted on each ticket. Guests will not be permitted to exit and re-enter the stadium.

Bags not permitted: To reduce contamination and ensure touchless entry, bags will not be permitted to be brought in to Busch Stadium, except for medical or diaper bags.

Hand sanitizer: Hand sanitizer dispensers will be widely available throughout the ballpark.

Staff health screenings: All full-time employees and event staff will be subject to health and temperature screenings before entering the stadium.

Tickets for April games will be going on sale soon. The press release says that Cardinals season ticket holders have priority for the first two home stands. After that, all other remaining tickets will be sold to the general public on a date to be announced later.

(H/T- St. Louis Cardinals)

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