KC opening with 30% capacity at home in '21

March 5th, 2021

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Royals are welcoming fans back to Kauffman Stadium in 2021.

After playing in front of empty seats in 2020, the Royals announced they will open the season with approximately 30 percent capacity, or around 10,000 fans per game. According to the team release, the initial plan “calls for pod-style seating to accommodate 10,000 fans per game, with goals to expand the capacity monthly, as the season progresses, and it is safe to do so.”

The Royals have been working with Kansas City health officials and the Jackson County Sports Authority to ensure fan safety. They will open the season with pod-style seating to ensure social distancing. Reduced contact, enhanced cleaning and mask requirements for all staff are part of the new protocols and guidelines to welcome fans back in the stadium.

“It’s fun listening to the players because sometimes guys [say], ‘I just do whatever I do, no matter if anybody’s there or not,’” Royals manager Mike Matheny said Thursday. “It’s a great thing to tell people, but there’s no doubt you feed off fan enthusiasm. There’s no doubt it’s part of the unique nature and privilege of playing at the Major League level to have that kind of buzz. … It just feels normal, to have people out there.

"We just keep talking about, ‘Wait until we get home, wait until that opener. It’s going to be fun.’ To hear that there’s going to be a considerable number of people there is exciting for us to think about.”

Season ticket members will have priority access beginning March 8 to select their seats for the 13 scheduled home games in April. The general public will have the option to purchase single-game tickets on March 24, and future home game on-sale dates will be announced following Opening Day. More information can be found at royals.com/tickets.

“I can’t wait to welcome our fans back to Kauffman Stadium for Opening Day,” Royals chairman and CEO John Sherman said in a statement. “I am grateful for all of the support our fans and partners extended to us during these remarkable times. Our ownership group is excited about this 2021 Royals team. We look forward to a great summer watching the Royals compete on behalf of this great community.”

Royals players have already felt a difference this Spring Training with the limited amount of fans in the stands. Many have noticed their adrenaline kick up, even for exhibition games. Second baseman Nicky Lopez said earlier this week that he heard something he didn’t realize he missed during the Royals’ Cactus League opener -- booing. Someone lost a pop fly in the sun, and it fell for a hit. Lopez was excited to hear chirping, cheering and voices from people around the stadium, something players didn’t get at all in the 60-game 2020 season.

“You have no idea how excited we are to see just one person in the stands,” pitcher Brady Singer, who made his Major League debut in an empty stadium in 2020, said. “We’re jacked up. We can’t wait. We need some background noise, we need more noise, we need fans to be in there. So we’re extremely excited for as many as we can get in there.”