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Gavin Newsom expects fans to be in the stands for Opening Day

California’s Governor is optimistic about the upcoming season.

Texas Rangers v San Francisco Giants, Game 1 Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The start of the 2021 Major League Baseball season is less than a month away. And with the one year anniversary of Spring Training getting shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic just a few days away, it seems like California might be turning a corner with regards to fans attending sporting events.

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times quoted California Governor Gavin Newsom as expressing optimism that fans would be in the stands for Opening Day for the state’s five baseball teams: the San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels, and San Diego Padres.

Newsom said that the state has been working closely with MLB, and that, “We have confidence that when you look forward to April, to Opening Day, and where we are likely to be if we all do our jobs, if we don’t let our guard down and spike the ball — wrong sport — then I have all the confidence in the world that fans will be back safely, in a lot of these outdoor venues.”

This comes with coronavirus numbers rapidly decreasing across the state, and increased confidence that enough vaccinations for all Americans will be available by the summer.

Even if fans are allowed in the park at the start of the season, it likely would be greatly reduced crowds, with safety features like mandatory mask wearing and social distancing. There’s also a chance that at some point teams only allow fans who have been vaccinated to enter the park.

The Giants open the season on April 1, but they don’t play in California until they visit the Padres on April 5. The Giants first game at Oracle Park is on April 9.