SPOKANE, Wash. -- The Spokane Indians have expanded their distancing guidelines for fans and players at Avista Stadium following new guidance announced by Major League Baseball (MLB) on Friday.
MLB requires that teams allow for proper social distancing in the dugouts and bullpens to adhere to the league's COVID-19 guidelines. There are a lot of teams whose stadium layout makes this request easy to follow; however, Avista Stadium is built in a way that makes those distancing guidelines a challenge.
In order to follow the proper MLB COVID-19 guidelines, the Indians had to push back their fan seating away from the field. All of the lower-left field bench seats and the Bud Bullpen, that was planned to be used for fan seating, will now be used for the team’s players and coaches. This will allow players and coaches to spread out appropriately beyond the traditional dugout and bullpen areas. All fans who bought seats in these locations will still be able to attend the games but will be relocated to a different seating area.
Below is the official statement from the Spokane Indians regarding this new adjustment:
"After our season opener, we were informed by Major League Baseball that our home and visiting seating areas (dugouts and bullpens) didn’t provide enough space for players to be properly distanced from one another. Prior to the game on 5/5, we were asked by Major League Baseball to define and provide additional seating locations for the players. For the visiting side, we added more chairs in the bullpen to extend and increase the bullpen seating. For the home side, we used the Bud Bullpen Hospitality Area for additional seating because the field tarp location didn’t allow us to simply add chairs as we did on the visiting side. Due to the Major League Baseball buffer zone guidelines, this extension and change of player seating eliminated the use of any Lower Left field Reserved Bench seats and the Bud Bullpen. Both the Lower Left Field Reserved Bench Seats and the Bud Bullpen were spaces that were planned to be occupied by ticket package holders, so with this change we unfortunately had to reseat some fans for future games."