PEORIA, Ariz. — For the first time since baseball shut down in mid-March of 2020, Mariners fans will have a chance to watch their team in person.

On Friday, the Mariners, in conjunction with the Peoria Sports Complex and San Diego Padres, announced that a limited number of fans will be allowed to attend Cactus League games at Peoria Stadium during spring training.

“While health and safety are clearly at the top of the list of the most important aspects of our lives, baseball is a close second,” said Peoria Mayor Cathy Carlat. “We are excited to welcome the Mariners and the Padres back to their spring training home and I am proud to see that we have developed a plan that allows fans to safely enjoy America’s favorite pastime at the Peoria Sports Complex.”

Tickets for those games will go on sale to the general public at 8 a.m. PT Wednesday. The Peoria Sports Complex will open their ticket office the following day at 9 a.m. MT for fans in the Peoria area.

Mariners’ season-ticket holders and fans who subscribe to Mariners Mail, which you can still sign up for on the team website, will be contacted directly about their exclusive presale opportunities Tuesday morning before tickets go on sale to the general public.

Per the submitted operation manual which stressed fan safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Peoria Sports Complex will allow 1,960 fans, which is 16% of the total stadium capacity, to attend games. It will use a pod seating system to abide by social distancing guidelines. Tickets will be sold in “pods” of one to four tickets for the seating bowl. Berm seating in the outfield will be sold in pods of two, four or six tickets. Locations for the pods will be clearly marked and physically distanced from other pods.

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The games will also feature the following changes to meet COVID safety protocols:

  • Facial masks will be required for everyone 2 years old and older throughout the stadium except when eating and drinking in their designated seats.
  • Practices and Autograph Alley will be closed to the public.
  • Hand-sanitizing stations throughout the ballpark.
  • No season and group tickets available.
  • The stadium will be a cashless facility, using credit or debit payments only at the ticket office and concession stands.
  • Parking will be complimentary and tailgating will be prohibited.
  • The team store is tentatively scheduled to open on Sunday, Feb. 28. Check the Peoria Sports Complex website for updates.
  • Employees will complete COVID-19 symptom screenings before their shifts.

Also games from opening day of Cactus League season (Feb. 28) through March 13 will be scheduled as seven-inning games and could possibly be shortened to five-inning games or lengthened to nine-inning games upon mutual agreement of both managers. Games that occur from March 14 to the end of spring training will be scheduled as nine-inning games but can be shortened to seven-inning games based upon mutual agreement of both managers.

While the Mariners will have fans in attendance at their spring training games, that doesn’t mean there will be fans in the stands of T-Mobile Park when the regular season opens April 1 against the Giants.

There must still be approval from the state and local governments, including King County and the city of Seattle before any sort of attendance plan can be submitted.