Fenway Park preparing to welcome Red Sox fans back for first time in more than 500 days

BOSTON (WHDH) - Fenway Park is preparing to welcome Red Sox fans back for in-person spectating on Thursday for the first time in more than 500 days.

When the Red Sox host the Baltimore Orioles for Opening Day, only about 4,500 fans will be allowed in the stands due to COVID-19 restrictions that limit capacity at arenas and stadiums in Massachusetts.

All tickets sold for the game, which will mark the first played in front of fans since Sept. 29, 2019, will fall under “pod seating” with bundles of either two or four seats. The team says the pods will allow fans to enjoy games while adhering to social distancing guidelines.

The tickets have also been made digital to make for a contactless experience.

Seats that are not in use will be blocked off with zip ties.

Face coverings are required at all times unless fans are eating or drinking. Hand sanitizer will also be made available throughout the park. Fans must also complete a health survey prior to entering the game.

Red Sox Vice President Pete Nesbit says these safety protocols have been put into place to help curb the spread of the coronavirus but added that they are prepared if cases begin to surge within the state.

“We certainly hope that the numbers don’t spike here in the city of Boston and around Massachusetts, but we’re prepared to react,” he said.

The opening pitch is slated to be thrown at 2:10 p.m.

The Celtics and Bruins have already played in front of fans at TD Garden.

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