It’s opening day for the Hartford Yard Goats.
Baseball returns to Hartford today for the first time since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and things will be a bit different at Dunkin’ Donuts Park this season for safety.
As of May 19, Dunkin' Donuts Park will be operating at 100 percent capacity in accordance with state guidelines, the team previously announced. The team is operating under health and safety protocols from Major League Baseball, the state and the city. See more on safety precautions lower in this article.
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The Yard Goats are teaming up with Hartford HealthCare to offer COVID-19 vaccinations to ballpark visitors during the first six home games. They will be available at the ballpark for fans who have tickets to the game.
The vaccines are expected to be Moderna, which people 18 and up can receive.
Those who get the shot will go home with a Dunkin' gift card and four tickets to a future Yard Goats game.
Individual game tickets for Hartford Yard Goats home games in June through September will be going on sale this Wednesday. Ticket prices range from $6 up to about $20.
Tickets for May have been available, but the team was waiting on details on what the COVID-19 protocols might look like for the rest of the season before putting those tickets on sale.
Fans can purchase Yard Goats tickets starting Wednesday at 10 a.m. at yardgoatsbaseball.com or by calling 860-246-4628. In-person sales are not available currently.
ABOUT THE HOME OPENER
The Yard Goats play their home opener at Dunkin' Donuts Park at 7:05 p.m. against the Portland Sea Dogs. The game will be broadcast live on Cozi TV, courtesy of NBC Connecticut.
You can catch a full preview of the 2021 Yard Goats season Tuesday at 7 p.m. on NBC Connecticut.
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Fans attending games at Dunkin' Donuts Parks this season will be required to adhere to the following health and safety guidelines:
All guests 2 years old older and staff members must wear facial coverings that cover both nose and mouth while at Dunkin’ Donuts Park. Guests may temporarily remove facial coverings while actively consuming food or beverage while in their ticketed seat.
TICKET PURCHASING & SERVICING
All advance tickets will be delivered digitally. Physical printing at the box office windows will only be enabled for gameday purchases from one hour before gates open through the end of the game. Guests are to maintain possession of ticket or mobile phone at all times. Staff members will verify/scan without contact.
The Yard Goats will follow social distance guidelines by establishing seating pods in the main seating sections. Fans will be able to purchase between two and six seats with the appropriate distance set between each seating pod.
All guests are encouraged to self-screen for COVID symptoms prior to the game and stay home if they feel sick. Guests are encouraged to avoid peak entry times by arriving early. Gate entry configurations have been re-evaluated to allow for as many points of entry, while maintaining proper distancing.
SECURITY & BAG POLICY
Fans are strongly encouraged to leave bags at home to reduce points of contact during the security screening process. The Yard Goats will permit medical bags, manufactured diaper bags that accompany infants and young children, and 4.5" x 6.5" clutch purses for personal items. We ask that guests only bring necessary items and keep track of their personal belongings at all times.
Dunkin’ Donuts Park is now a cashless/contactless venue (i.e. guests handle own cards). Gift and credit/debit cards will be accepted at the Box Office, Yard Goats Team Store, and food and beverage locations.
The food and beverage locations, which will be cashless, will be open and promote physical distancing. Gift and credit/debit cards will be accepted at the concessions.
Social Distancing will be in effect at all checkout purchase lines throughout the stadium, including concession lines. Floor markers will be used to guide guests entering and exiting lines.
Concourse restrooms will have one dedicated entrance and one dedicated exit to facilitate one-way traffic. Existing restroom fixtures such as sinks, paper towel dispensers and flush valves utilize motion sensors to limit contact. High contact areas in restrooms will be cleaned throughout the game and fully sanitized after each game.
YARD GOATS TEAM STORE
The Retro Brand team store will be open during the Yard Goats games with a limited number allowed inside at one time. Signs will be posted for one way traffic and all payments will be cashless. Gift and credit/debit cards will be accepted.
ELEVATORS & STAIRWELLS
Elevators have a capacity of 4 guests from the same familial party at any given time for proper distancing. Guests will be encouraged to use open air stairwells throughout the stadium.
All staff will wear facial coverings at all times, with added PPE such as face shields, gloves, etc. as needed. Increased regularity and scope of sanitation throughout ballpark. In-game routine sanitation of high traffic areas and touch points. All cleaning products and cleaning equipment will be CDC approved for use against COVID-19. Staff members across all departments will be equipped with additional materials to sanitize according to new protocols.
HAND SANITIZER LOCATIONS
Each ballpark entrance has added hand sanitizing stations with others located throughout the ballpark near concession stands, in restrooms, along the concourse, and at both retail stores.
RAIN DELAY POLICY
In the event of a rain delay, guests will have the option to go back to their cars for shelter to reduce congregation in the concourse, and will be allowed to re-enter the ballpark once the rain delay has concluded. Yard Goats staff will be present to manage covered areas within the stadium to promote social distancing where needed.
Inflatables and gaming units are temporarily suspended. Player autographs are temporarily suspended to limit contact, as are any player giveaways to guests (i.e. baseballs tossed into stands). All ballpark water fountains are temporarily closed.
COVID PROTOCOL MANAGEMENT
Game day staff stationed throughout ballpark to identify and enforce COVID protocols. Ushers will walk down aisle at every half inning, to ensure Fan Code of Conduct items are being adhered to, including COVID protocols such as mask wearing. The same process will take place in the suites. Ushers and Security will be stationed at various internal entry points to ensure capacity compliance. Guests in violation of COVID protocols will receive a reminder/warning from staff. If continued noncompliance occurs, guest will be required to leave ballpark.