COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Opening Day 2021 is upon us as Major League Baseball reboots and prepares for a full 162 game season with fans in the stands in some form or fashion.
For the Atlanta Braves, the season begins April 1 in Philadelphia with the Braves taking on the Phillies Thursday afternoon.
The home opener? April 9 at Truist Park against those same Phillies. Before the home opener, the Braves will honor those who passed away over the past year. Hall of Fame broadcaster Don Sutton, Hall of Famers Phil Niekro and Hank Aaron and former owner Bill Bartholomay.
All will be honored during a pre-game ceremony and bag pipe tribute.
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The team says they’ve taken multiple steps to make the stadium COVID-19 safe for fans and employees at the ballpark. Those steps include:
- Masks: Fans are required to wear a mask at Truist Park, except when actively eating or drinking in their ticketed seat.
- Socially Distanced Seating: In order to maximize social distancing between fans, tickets are sold in pods of primarily two and four fans with a total stadium capacity of 33% to begin the 2021 season. Fans are encouraged to remain socially distanced from other individuals not in their group while on the concourses or in line at Truist Park.
- The Braves will continuously clean, sanitize and disinfect high touch surfaces and replenish sanitizer and disinfectant soap during each game. The stadium will be disinfected before after each game using a clinical hospital grade cleaning procedure featuring electromagnetic disinfectant. 200 hand sanitizer stations will be located throughout the ballpark for guest and staff use.
- Air filtration system: The Braves have advanced air filtration systems in each of the club areas and in all indoor spaces.
Braves team president Derek Schiller says the team is excited to re-introduce fans to the park to welcome back the defending NL East champions.
“We know how much our fans have missed coming to the games and we know our players have missed the fans cheering them on, so we are ready to open our doors to offer an exceptional, family-friendly experience in a safe environment,” said Schiller.
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Along with their Covid-19 protections, the Braves announced several new ways business will be conducted at the ballpark. All done for both fan and employee safety:
- The Atlanta Braves converted Truist Park to a stadium-wide cashless transactional venue for the 2021 season to help improve fan experience by maximizing efficiency during the point of sale for food, beverage and merchandise items and to help create less touchpoints.
- Payments accepted at retail and concessions locations include all major credit cards, debit cards, mobile barcodes, Braves gift cards and contactless payments, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay.
- For fans without electronic forms of payment, cash can be exchanged for gift cards at four kiosks locations throughout the ballpark. Truist Park’s parking operations will also be cash-free.
- Mobile Food Ordering: Fans won’t miss a moment of the game this season with the new mobile concession ordering located in the MLB Ballpark app. Fans can order food, snacks and drinks from their seat and pay in the app to skip the line. Mobile ordering pickup locations include: 1871 Grille at section 113, Ballpark Classics at section 135, Taco Factory at section 151, The Slice at section 160, 1871 Grille and Ballpark Classics at section 312, The Slice and 1871 Grille at section 343, INFINITI Club Grille and INFINITI Club Tables
- Snacking Safely: To protect fans purchasing food on game day, the Braves and Delaware North have added plexiglass and sneeze guards at points of sale, eliminated condiment stands. Buffets will have attendants to serve food and touchless utensil dispensers have been installed around the ballpark. All these enhancements and more are following Delaware North’s comprehensive Play It Safe | Commitment to Care program.
- WIFI 6: Truist Park has upgraded their stadium with even faster WiFi speeds from Xfinity’s WiFi 6 and 5G from your wireless carrier throughout Truist Park and the entire The Battery Atlanta.
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The Braves are hosting the 2021 All-Star week beginning July 11. Events scheduled at this time include:
- Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game – Sunday, July 11
- MLB All-Star Celebrity Softball Game – Sunday, July 11
- MLB Draft – Sunday July 11 through Tuesday July 13
- T-Mobile Home Run Derby – Monday, July 12
- The 91st All-Star Game presented by MasterCard will be broadcast live on FOX on Tuesday, July 13
2021 marks the fourth season for the Braves at Truist Park.