World Series Opener Had Smallest Crowd in 111 Years

Stadium was limited to 28% of capacity
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 21, 2020 4:49 PM CDT
World Series Opener Had Smallest Crowd Since 1909
Fans watch batting practice before Game 1 of the baseball World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Tampa Bay Rays Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, in Arlington, Texas.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

A crowd of 11,388 attended the Los Angeles Dodgers' 8-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in Tuesday night's World Series opener in Arlington, Texas, spread in groups of up to four, mostly in alternate rows and none directly behind each other among the forest green seats. That was the smallest Series crowd since 10,535 attended Game 6 in 1909 between the Tigers and Pittsburgh at Detroit's Bennett Park, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. "It’s so weird," Julie Smith, 38, from Gadsden, Alabama, told the AP. "It’s kind of nice in a way, too,” Lance Smith, 39, said before they headed to their seats in the first deck behind home plate. They wore masks, but many fans ignored the requirement for facial coverings except while eating or drinking at their ticketed seats.

Major League Baseball planned to make about 28% available of the 40,518 capacity at the new Globe Life Field, the retractable-roof stadium of the Texas Rangers, the AP reports. The usual pregame introductions of teams were dispensed with. Ceremonial first pitches were thrown by medical personnel who assisted during the pandemic: Brittney Burns, a nurse practitioner from San Antonio; Erika Combs, an oncology and kidney transplant nurse at a Dallas hospital; and Jamie Edens and Ryan Ward, nurses from Tulsa, Oklahoma, who are a married couple. No fans were allowed into any of the 898 regular-season games this season, which were played in mostly empty ballparks due to governmental health restrictions. (More World Series stories.)

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