Fans in the stands for Padres Opening Day, but getting tickets could be tough this season

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SAN DIEGO — New state guidelines will soon allow outdoor stadiums to welcome back attendees across California, and the San Diego Padres say they expect to have fans in the stands for Opening Day — though tickets will be hard to come by.

The changes to the state’s reopening blueprint Friday allow 100 fans at venues like Petco Park for counties that are in the state’s purple tier of COVID-19 restrictions. But by Opening Day on April 1, the county is increasingly expected to have reached the red tier, where 20% stadium capacity would be allowed. At Petco, where capacity is over 42,000, that would get the team to around 8,500 fans.

Regardless, tickets will be a hot commodity with limited supply, especially in a highly anticipated year for a stacked Friars roster. Season ticket holders, which the team also calls Padres Members, will get priority.

“We expect that Padres fans will be able to support our team in-person beginning on Opening Day and our players are eager to have them back at Petco Park,” Padres CEO Erik Greupner said in a statement Friday. “We will communicate with our season ticket members soon regarding the details of their return to Petco Park.”

“Padres Season Ticket Members will receive priority access to all regular season home games in 2021,” the team’s statement continued. “Due to limited capacity, fans hoping to attend games this season are strongly encouraged to become a Padres member.”

The team’s website lists Platinum (full-season), Gold (half-season) and Blue (20-game) membership plans, though it wasn’t immediately clear how many of each would be available, and how or when single-game tickets might be purchased.

As the season goes on, San Diego could see more fans at Petco Park and other outdoor venues. In the orange tier, capacity will bump up to 33%. In the yellow tier, capacity will increase to 67%.

“San Diego and our country have been through a very difficult period and we are proud that once again the great game of baseball can serve as a unifying and healing force in our community,” Greupner wrote.

The rules for amusement parks like SeaWorld and Disneyland are a little different, with attendees only allowed in the red tier. Capacity will increase from 15% to 25% and then 35% as the region moves from red to orange and then yellow tiers.

Whether for sporting events, concerts or theme parks, attendance will be limited to in-state visitors until counties are out of the yellow tier.

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