Fans welcome back Nationals baseball

Fans welcome back Nationals baseball
Nationals Park prior to Washington's 2021 opener against the Braves on April 6, 2021. (Source: WWBT NBC12)

WASHINGTON, DC (WWBT) - For the first time since October of 2019, fans could experience the sites and sounds of baseball at Nationals Park.

The Nationals welcomed five thousand fans through the gates of the stadium for Tuesday’s season opener against the Braves. The start of Washington’s season was delayed a bit because of COVID-19 within the clubhouse, postponing the first four scheduled games of the campaign, but on a beautiful sunny day with temperatures in the 70′s, many of these fans will tell you that it was worth the wait.

“It feels like it’s been 20 years and I’m feeling great,” said Nats’ fan Dave Faeder. “So happy for all the players, all the fans. You couldn’t ask for anything better.”

“It feels invigorating, like life is back,” added Richard Barney, a Nationals’ season ticket holder.

Of course, plenty of coronavirus protocols are in place for fans this year. Masks must be worn at all times unless eating or drinking. Social distancing is encouraged with fans spaced out among the first two levels of the stadium. Concession stands are not taking any cash and using as much non-contact equipment as possible. It’s a different experience for spectators, but things they’re happy to do in order to see baseball in person.

“Certainly would love to have 43 thousand fans here, but that’s not where we’re at yet, so we’re doing the right thing,” noted Barney. “I think they’ve done the right precautions.”

“I think it’s really important for everybody to remember that, not just at the baseball stadium, but everywhere,” added Faeder. “We haven’t beaten this thing yet, we’ve got to all still be careful. We can start getting back to normal, but we’ve got to be careful.”

More fans could be let into Nationals Park as the season progresses depending on COVID-19 numbers and trends.

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