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Red Sox kick off spring training

Fan access, seats will be limited at games

By Nathan Mayberg - Editor | Feb 18, 2021

Boston Red Sox General Manager Chaim Bloom made a bold move this month by dealing once-prized outfielder Andrew Benintendi to the Kansas City Royals. / File photo by Nathan Mayberg

While pitchers and catchers began reporting for spring training at the Boston Red Sox camp Thursday for spring training, it was a sign that life is still far from normal during the COVOD-19 pandemic.

Due to the pandemic, fans and media are not yet allowed at JetBlue Park, where approximately $1.7 million in repairs have been done over the past year by Lee County.

On the field, things will be anything but normal.

The Red Sox will play their their first game of spring training Feb. 28 at Hammond Stadium against the Twins and host their first game at JetBlue Park March 1 against the Braves.

Over the past month, the Red Sox sent once-prized leftfielder Andrew Benintendi to the Kansas City Royals, veteran second baseman Dustin Pedroia retired and southpaw Chris Sale was put on the disabled list as he recovers from Tommy John surgery.

Benintendi was a key part of the 2018 World Series team, with his key catches in the American League Championship and World Series the stuff of legend. His parting follows the departure of former star outfielder Mookie Betts in a trade to the Dodgers before last season.

The Red Sox will have a new manager, Alex Cora, who has returned after parting ways with the team before the 2020 season over the cheating scandal from his time with the Houston Astros. Last year, they finished at the bottom of the American League East Division with a 24-36 record, one game behind the Baltimore Orioles.

The team has sold out its stadium every year since moving to JetBlue Park and so tickets will be hard to come by this spring, with seating being limited to 24% capacity. Tickets will only be available through online purchase. Season ticket holders will have the first chance at tickets for games though additional seats could become available.

Fans will not be allowed to attend the park for workouts. Autographs will not be permitted.

According to the team, all fans will be issued a digital ticket through MLB’s Ballpark App, and parking pass sales will be available online. Entry to JetBlue Park will include contactless ticket scanning. All bags are prohibited, with limited exceptions to accommodate medical needs and diaper bags. No food and beverage sales will be conducted in the seating bowl.

Face coverings are required in all areas of JetBlue Park for both staff and guests ages 2 and up, with limited exceptions for those actively eating or drinking in their ticketed seat location. In addition to having at least six feet between ticketed fans in the seating bowl, buffer zones will be created around the dugouts and bullpens to eliminate direct access to player areas.