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Royals fans welcomed back to Kauffman Stadium for Opening Day

Published: Apr. 1, 2021 at 9:44 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WIBW) - Royals baseball is back — and for the first time since the 2019 season, so are the fans.

Cardboard cutouts and fake crowd noise have been replaced by 10,000 real-life supporters at Kauffman Stadium.

“Watching the baseball games are wonderful,” Royals fan Dawn Beck said. “But to actually be at the stadium, to be with others who are also Royals fans, it’s a whole other degree of experience.”

COVID protocols kept the Kansas City-faithful at home last year.

With reduced capacity, mandatory masks and pod-style seating, “The K” safely brought them back Thursday to watch the Royals secure an Opening Day win over the Rangers.

For the team’s die-hard supporters, being back at the ballpark was a win of its own.

“It’s fantastic. We’ve been waiting for this day,” Lea Tatum-Haskell of Topeka said. “We had tickets to come last year, then everything got shut down. So we’re ready to go and we’ll support them all season long.”

“It’s awesome,” Rick Shields said. “Just being able to come out - the tailgating part of it, getting back to that. High-fiving other Royals fans. Saying, ‘Hey, go Royals!’ Just sitting out here in the parking lot. It’s fantastic.”

The Royals have capped capacity at 30-percent for the month of April. They plan to keep increasing that number each month, given it is safe to do so.

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