LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - “We were really excited about baseball and what the potential was. The team was ranked number two in the country, you had been to the college world series four of the previous six years,” senior associate athletic director Robert Giovannetti recalled this time last March. “It was disappointing.”
There’s no doubt the pandemic put a damper on spring fever for baseball last year.
But Giovannetti is hoping for a “home run” with fans back in the stands at an expected 75% capacity beginning this Friday.
This comes after the governor’s latest announcement to re-open Texas.
Giovannetti says the stadium was limited to 50% capacity at the start of the season.
That meant about 1,350 season ticket holders were not able to claim their tickets or even their usual seats.
“We’re making calls and emails as we speak to our ticket holders,” Giovannetti explained. “Also for season ticket holders who had to be re-located because of the social distancing aspect.”
The 75% capacity limit is not strict, but rather it is the expected turn-out with all season ticket holders and students returning to Dan Law field.
Zip ties and flags used to limit capacity in the stands will be removed for Friday’s game against UConn.
But precautions will still be in place, and fans will be asked to help keep things safe.
“We’re asking fans to wear masks throughout the season. Our people working the games will be wearing masks, and so, we’re just trying to keep safe and make sure what we’re doing now just grows. We’re trying to phase this in where we’re back to 100 % at all of our events,” he explained.There will still be distancing at concession stands and hand-sanitizing stations available as well.
“We’re hoping by the time we get to September, that all of us, not just Texas Tech, that everyone will be at 100% at all of our events,” Giovannetti said.
He also wants to assure season ticket holders, that may not be ready to come back, their seats will be waiting for them next season.