The Detroit Tigers Major League Baseball team has been given the green light to welcome around 8,200 fans to Comerica Park when the new season gets underway on April 1.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has announced that select outdoor entertainment and recreational facilities, which operate under enhanced safety protocols, can operate at around 20% capacity.

The Tigers have worked with public health and medical experts, government officials and MLB to develop a plan for the safe return of fans to Comerica Park, and limited individual game tickets will be available to purchase from Thursday.

All tickets will be mobile-only, with season ticket members to be given the first opportunity to attend games. The Tigers’ season gets underway against the Cleveland Indians at Comerica Park on April 1.

Chris Granger, group president of sports and entertainment at Ilitch Holdings, which owns the Tigers, said: “Tigers baseball is back, and we couldn’t be more excited to begin welcoming our great fans to Comerica Park again.

“Safety is our top priority, and we have developed and invested in a plan that allows us to confidently provide fans a safe and entertaining experience. We’ve missed our fans greatly and can’t wait to celebrate the start of the season with them when the first pitch is thrown on Opening Day in Detroit.”

Tigers fans will be required to complete a Gameday Wellness survey no more than 24 hours prior to entering the stadium, with face masks to also be mandatory while inside the venue. Cashless payment methods will be in operation at all points of sales, while fans will be seated in pods with at least six feet of distance between other groups.

Other precautions will include touchless hand sanitiser dispensers and a ban on all bags, purses and clutches.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer had previously said that outdoor venues would be limited to 1,000 spectators but restrictions have been eased as COVID-19 vaccinations continue to be rolled out in the state.

The announcement means that the Houston Astros are the only MLB team yet to detail attendance plans for the new season.

Image: Dan Gaken/CC BY 2.0/Edited for size