The Texas Rangers Play To Sell-Out Crowd During Pandemic

Texas Rangers Play In Packed Stadium As Though We’re Not Still In A Pandemic

Toronto Blue Jays v Texas Rangers
Tom Pennington/Getty

The Texas Rangers hosted over 38,000 people for their home opener

What pandemic? This week, the Texas Rangers hosted the Toronto Blue Jays in front of the largest crowd at a sporting event since the beginning of the pandemic.

The Rangers announced in March that the team would not have any restrictions for its home opener, selling tickets for every seat at the new Globe Life Field. They made good on that promise, hosting an official crowd of 38,238 fans for their Monday game.

“It felt like a real game,” Rangers Manager Chris Woodward told The New York Times. “It felt like back to the old days when we had full capacity.”

Except, it’s not back to the old days. We’re still in the middle of a goddamn pandemic.

Tom Pennington/Getty

According to Healthline, new COVID-19 cases have risen to “about 61,000 per day over the past week.” Experts believe this could be the beginning of a new COVID-19 spike. This is likely due to  relaxed restrictions in many states, more variants of the virus, large social gatherings, and travel for Spring Break and Easter.

Tom Pennington/Getty

Not only that, CNN reported the COVID-19 variant B.1.351, which originated in South Africa, shows increased resistance to “both post-infection antibodies and two available vaccines,” according to research published in a correspondence letter in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Major League Baseball requires all fans over the age of two to wear masks at games for the 2021 season, but many could be seen not wearing masks, as Texas does not have a mandatory mask requirement.

Even with the ridiculously large crowd, the Rangers lost to the Blue Jays, 6-2. “Was hoping we’d see how loud our stadium got if we gave them something to cheer about,” Woodward said. “Unfortunately we didn’t do that.”

Tom Pennington/Getty

Apparently though, the sell-out crowd will be limited for future games. The Rangers plan to reduce capacity for Globe Life Field to allow for social distancing. The crowd at the home opener was permitted because fans weren’t able to experience the newly built Globe Life Field properly last season because of — you guessed it — the pandemic we are still very much in. So, just the one day super-spreader event then. Cool. Cool.

In early March, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced he was ending Texas’ statewide mask mandate would allow all businesses to operate at full capacity. “It is now time to open Texas 100%,” Abbott said from inside a Mexican restaurant in Lubbock, adding that, “people and businesses don’t need the state telling them how to operate” any longer.

Tom Pennington/Getty

At least 530 new coronavirus deaths and 76,594 new cases were reported in the United States on April 5, according to the New York Times data tracker. During this past week, there has been an average of 64,851 cases per day, an increase of 20 percent from the average two weeks earlier.