The Latest: Padres hoping to have 20% capacity for opener
The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:
The San Diego Padres believe they will be able to have 20% capacity — or roughly 8,500 fans — at Petco Park for opening day on April 1 if San Diego County is moved into the red tier in the state’s system for determining when it’s safe for businesses to resume operations.
The county could be moved into the red tier next week.
Padres CEO Erik Greupner said Tuesday that it’s possible the team could be playing before capacity crowds at the 42,000-seat ballpark later in the season. Expectations are high based on last year’s playoff appearance, the signing of superstar shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. to a 14-year contract and the acquisition of pitchers Yu Darvish and Blake Snell.
Because of social distancing, “There’s not going to be an inch of Petco Park that isn’t going to have a pod of seating somewhere in it,” Greupner said. “The entire park will be utilized.”
He said that with season ticket holders getting first priority, single-game tickets might not be available for the first two months of the season, or even longer.
Fans will be required to wear masks. Coupled with other protocols, Petco Park “will be one of the safest places to be in San Diego,” Greupner said.
Duke has paused spring football activities indefinitely due to a COVID-19 cluster involving 10 athletes.
The school in Durham, North Carolina, announced the pause Tuesday, saying the cluster of cases was tied to people who attended team activities together. Those affected are in isolation.
The school said contact tracers have identified others who possibly had close contact with someone who tested positive. Those people have been notified and are in quarantine.
The team started spring practice Feb. 26 and conducted three official workouts before the pause.
The Atlanta Hawks will sell about 1,000 single-game tickets per game for the second half of the season after having only limited season-ticket members at their home games before the All-Star break.
Hawks chief revenue office Andrew Saltzman says the team is “thrilled to welcome more Hawks fans back to State Farm Arena as we continue the second half of the 2020-21 NBA season.”
The team’s second-half home schedule begins Saturday and Sunday with games against Sacramento and Cleveland, respectively. The reported attendance for the Hawks’ last home game, a 122-114 win over Boston on Feb. 24, was 1,537.
The Colorado Rockies have gotten permission to have 21,363 fans at home games this season beginning with opening day on April 1.
That figure represents 42.6% capacity of the 50,144-seat Coors Field in downtown Denver. Previously, the Rockies had gotten the green light for crowds of 12,500.
There were no fans at regular-season games last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Ohio State has halted football team workouts for a week because of an increase in positive COVID-19 tests within the program.
The school said Tuesday that team activities would pause and administrative offices in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center would close “out of an abundance of caution and with the health, safety and well-being of the student-athletes, coaches and football and facility support staff as the highest priority.”
The Buckeyes are scheduled to open spring practice on March 19.
“We have been successful in safely hosting nearly 100 athletic events on campus this year with limited disruptions, but this pandemic is not over,” Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said. “We will continue to stress the safety measures of wearing masks, consistent and thorough hand washing and physical distancing, and we will remain vigilant in those areas.”
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