KANSAS CITY, Mo. — From the parking gates to the seats, if you snag a ticket to a Kansas City Royals game this season, prepare for some changes.
The team is taking numerous safety precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and that means fans need to plan ahead before heading to the K to see the Boys in Blue.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Royals open the season at home against the Texas Rangers at 3:10 p.m. April 1 in manager Mike Matheny’s second season.
The team is scheduled to also play the Los Angeles Angels, the Toronto Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays during the first month of the season.
The Royals will end the season at home against the Minnesota Twins with their last regular season game set for 2:10 p.m. Oct. 3.
This season, tickets will not be sold at the box office on the day of the game. All tickets must be purchased in advance, and fans will have to sit in pods.
Tickets will not be printed this year; fans must use the MLB Ballpark app to access their tickets.
If you’re looking for tickets, you can buy them online.
Parking and tailgating
Like game tickets, Royals fans will be required to purchase parking passes in advance. Neither cash nor credit cards will be accepted at tollgates. Parking passes are $20.
Everyone will be asked to enter a specific parking gate and park in a specific zone, depending on where they are sitting inside the stadium, to minimize contact with other guests.
Tailgating will still be allowed, but fans should only tailgate with those in their ticket pod and need to stay in the area behind their vehicle to maintain social distancing between groups.
Face masks required
Face masks are required inside Kauffman Stadium at all times, including while seated with the exception of when actively eating or drinking. Masks are also recommended while in parking lots.
Guests who don’t comply with the stadium’s mask requirement will be subject to disciplinary action, the Royals say.
No cash allowed
The Royals are going cashless this season to cut down on contact.
That means all transactions must be done by debit card, credit card, gift card or mobile wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay.
Getting through the gate
Just like parking gates, fans are required to enter a specific stadium gate corresponding with the color/section on their ticket to minimize contact with other fans. Entry into other gates won’t be allowed.
You can see a breakdown of stadium sections and corresponding entry gates.
One of the biggest changes so far is the Royals “no bag” policy. That means no purses. The Royals ask that you only bring in things you can fit into your pockets. They say feminine products are available in all restrooms, if needed.
The only exceptions are for guests with medical conditions or childcare needs. Supplies like diapers, wipes, formula, bottles or breast pumps must be brought to the stadium in a clear plastic bag. Staff will look at the bags during the screening process.
Unopened plastic water bottles are still also allowed. You can see a list of all prohibited items.
The ballpark will be split into five zones, corresponding with entry gates, and there will be color-coded signs throughout the stadium to help fans.
There will be increased cleaning procedures throughout the stadium, and hand sanitizer will be available at various locations. Like fans, all Royals employees are also required to wear face masks.
Another change is that there’s no smoking or vaping allowed in or around the stadium this season. Spitting tobacco, sunflower seeds, etc. has also been banned this year.
When it comes to things to do at the K, the Royals Hall of Fame and Outfield Experience are closed. Retail stores throughout the stadium have new layouts to promote social distancing, and a limited number of guests will be allowed in the stores at a given time.
Just like everything else, you’ll need to pay for your food with a card or mobile wallet.
There will also be a variety of limited contact and contactless concessions available, including “Grab N’ Go’s,” self-checkout, mobile order pickup and kiosk ordering stands throughout the stadium.
There will be fewer menu options this season. All drinks will come with lids/caps, and refills will not be available. Fans will find pre-packaged condiments at stands instead of community condiment carts.
At restaurants, all menus will be available via a QR code. In-seat vending is also suspended.