Rockies fans in the stands at Coors Field this season?
It’s not out of the question.
On Page 28 of Major League Baseball’s 2020 operations manual, a key sentence reads: “Clubs may permit fan attendance at games with the approval of MLB and relevant local authorities.”
However, with the coronavirus pandemic surging in many areas of the country, that might never happen during the 60-game season. Still, the Rockies, who open their season July 24 at the Texas Rangers, have not ruled out fans in the stands.
A press release announcing the club’s schedule Monday included the following: “The Rockies’ hope is to allow a limited number of fans to attend 2020 home games at Coors Field, and to that end, we have been working with city and state health officials, as well as Major League Baseball, to finalize a plan that adheres to strict health protocols and ensures fan safety.”
Gov. Jared Polis, who is a big baseball fan, is leaving the door open.
“We are working closely with the Rockies on their plans,” Conor Cahill, the governor’s press secretary, said Thursday. “They have been great partners and we’re working together to determine what’s possible, with an understanding that this all changes quickly depending on the epidemiological data.”
While the state has the final say on mass gatherings such as sporting events, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is open to the idea of fans attending games at Coors Field.
“The Mayor is looking forward to seeing a proposal from the Rockies,” said Theresa Marchetta, the mayor’s director of strategic communications and media policy. “As a huge sports fan he would like nothing better than to see the Rockies in action at Coors Field with the rest of their fans, but we have worked too hard and too long together as a city to give COVID any ground in this pandemic. The Mayor’s top priority is and will always be protecting the health and safety of Denver residents.”
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said it had received a plan from the Rockies and is reviewing it. CDPHE issued the following statement:
“According to the latest version of Public Health Order 20-28, effective June 30, professional sports may resume pre-season practices, training and league play after they submit a reopening plan that details their disease prevention and mitigation strategies to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and receive approval.
“Many professional leagues have created their own reopening requirements and guidance, and professional teams are expected at a minimum to incorporate those requirements into their reopening plans. Colorado sporting events that include both a professional event and a recreational event must have their professional opening plan reviewed and approved by CDPHE.”