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Fan access to Twins will be limited to gamedays this spring

By Nathan Mayberg - Editor | Feb 18, 2021

Minnesota Twins pitcher Kenta Maeda allowed the fewest walks plus hits per inning (WHIP) in all of baseball last season after working on his spin rate last spring training. File photo by Nathan Mayberg

The Minnesota Twins begin their 2021 season with a return to Fort Myers Thursday following last year’s run as American League Central Division winners. This year’s spring training will be unlike any other.

Pitchers and catchers began reporting Thursday though the public will not be allowed to attend non-gameday workouts this season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There will also be no autograph signing this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic among other changes.

The first game at Hammond Stadium will be on Sunday, Feb. 28 against the Boston Red Sox.

There will be some new faces on the field for the Twins this year as well as some missing ones. The new standouts include Gold Glove Award-winning shortstop Andrelton Simmons and southpaw hurler J.A. Happ.

Among those to leave the Twins this offseason were outfielder Eddie Rosario, reliever Trevor May and veteran pitcher Rich Hill.

Scenes like these of Josh Donaldson signing autographs for fans during last year's spring training at Hammond Stadium will not happen this spring due to COVID-19 restrictions. File photo by Nathan Mayberg

The Twins will play a slate of 29 games in 31 days including 14 home contests at Hammond Stadium at CenturyLink Sports Complex).

Exclusive Spring Training season ticketholder presales begin Thursday, Feb. 18, while remaining inventory will be available to the general public beginning Wednesday, Feb. 24.

Seating at each game will be limited to slightly more than 2,400 fans. The Twins have developed a physically-distanced seating plan utilizing “pods” (sold in exact sets of 2 or 4 contiguous seats only) to maximize guest comfort and safety. Due to limited capacity, season and group ticket plans have been discontinued this spring.

The team’s 29 games will be against five opponents, all located on the West Coast of Florida to mitigate travel: Eight games apiece against the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays, seven against the Atlanta Braves, four against the Pittsburgh Pirates and a pair of contests with the Baltimore Orioles.

The Twins conclude spring training by hosting the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday, March 30.

There won't be scenes like this at Hammond Stadium for the Twins spring training due to the COVID-19 pandemic. / File photo by Nathan Mayberg

Remaining inventory for Twins 2021 Grapefruit League home games at Hammond Stadium will go on sale to the general public beginning at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 24 via twinsbaseball.com, the MLB Ballpark App or 1-800-33-TWINS. For all sales (presales and general public), seating “pods” must be purchased in their exact quantities of two (2) or (4) contiguous tickets; sales are restricted to one ticket purchaser per pod.

The Hammond Stadium Box Office will open Thursday, Feb. 25. On non-game days, the box office will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET on Saturdays and Sundays. The box office opens at 9 a.m. on game days and will remain open through 30 minutes after the final out.

Other key policies for Twins spring training are as follows:

· Buffer Zones will be created between the playing field and the first row of ticketed seats adjacent to both dugouts (12 feet in distance) and bullpens (6 feet in distance). Guests are not allowed within the designated buffer zones at any time. Additionally, in accordance with Major League Baseball guidelines, players and team personnel are prohibited from signing autographs or engaging in direct guest contact.

· Cleaning, Disinfecting and Sanitizing: Enhancements have been made to cleaning protocol, including cleaning and disinfecting all in-use seats, railings, food and beverage surfaces, elevators and restrooms, with peroxide multi-surface cleaner and disinfectant or vital oxide, before, during and after each game.

· Concession and Retail Staff Protocols, and Partitions: Partitions will be used to separate staff and guests at points-of-sale. Concession and retail staff are required to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth at all times in Hammond Stadium (and gloves while prepping or handling food), while submitting to a health questionnaire and temperature check daily upon arrival.

· Face Coverings: All Twins staff and all guests ages two (2) and older will be required to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth to enter Hammond Stadium and at all times while in the ballpark, other than when actively eating or drinking in their ticketed seat.

· Bags are not allowed, with the exception of medically-necessary items, diaper bags and clutch purses (9“x5”) only. Food items are not allowed to be carried into Hammond Stadium (factory-sealed bottles of water, 32oz. or less, are accepted).

· Physical Distancing: All guests will be required to practice proper physical distancing (6 feet of distance) when moving about the ballpark. The Hammond Stadium Box Office (limited open windows), gates (modified entry and exit lanes), restrooms (limited capacity), retail locations (limited capacity and adjusted floorplans), and concourse and concession areas have been modified to facilitate proper physical distancing.

For more information on the Minnesota Twins 2021 Spring Training season, please visit twinsbaseball.com/springtraining.