Braves home opener brings new crowds and new policies

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — No, it’s not the first game of the season, but Friday does ring in the home opener for the Atlanta Braves. And for the first time since the end of the 2019 season, there will be fans at the ballpark.

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The first pitch is scheduled for 7:20 p.m. as the Braves take on the Philadelphia Phillies with crowds cordoned off into “bubbles” and capacity capped at roughly 33% of capacity. Doing the math, it means just over 13,000 people in the stands at Truist Park.

According to the Braves website, there are no more tickets available for Friday night’s game. The team does add there may be some tickets that could become available if you are willing to go to the stadium box office.

Before the game begins, the team will take time to honor Hank Aaron and other Braves legends who passed over the past year in a special ceremony. It includes Hall of Fame pitcher Phil Niekro, longtime broadcaster and Hall of Fame pitcher Don Sutton and former team owner Bill Bartholomay.

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If you got tickets and are able to go to the game, you’ll find a slew of new procedures in place to keep fans COVID-19 safe inside the stadium.

Chief among the safety procedures is wearing a mask if you are not eating or drinking, and no cash transactions inside the stadium.

You can read the story we published last week for a full list of all safety protocols.

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The Braves head into the game on the heels of a doubleheader sweep of the Washington Nationals for their first two wins of the season. The record after week one is 2-4. They were swept in their first three games by the Phillies.

Charlie Morton will take the mound for Atlanta while Marietta native Zack Wheeler throws for the Phillies.

It’s also the first home appearance since Major League Baseball moved the 2021 All-Star game out of Georgia to Colorado after Georgia’s highly publicized changes to the voting and election laws.