The Astros have started off hot with a 5-1 record that opened with a four-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics.
The home opener against the A’s will be the first home game with fans since the coronavirus pandemic began. The game is the first of a three-game series that runs until April 10.
Fans are encouraged to arrive early. Gates will open at 5 p.m. and 5,000 fans will receive the 2021 Astros Schedule Magnet presented by United Airlines. The game starts at 7:10 p.m.
Fans can also to expect to see some fun activities around the gates such as music, balloon installations, photo opportunities and more.
Fans are also encourage to be in their seats early to catch the special Opening Day pregame ceremonies.
Tickets are still available for the home opener
Tickets are still available here for Thursday’s game. There is seating available in multiple sections, including some sections with physically distanced seating pods. You'll pay a pretty penny, however. Prices range from $93 to $630.
Houston will also host the Tigers for three games on April 12-14; the Angels for four games on April 22-25; and the Mariners for four on April 26-29.
Minute Maid introduces new COVID-19 rules
Of course, coronavirus pandemic return for fans will come with new rules. Minute Maid Park will operate at 50 percent capacity in April. They’ve also installed plexiglass to separate seats near the dugouts and bullpens.
The Astros released the following COVID-19 guidelines for fans at home games:
BAG POLICY: Bags will not be allowed in the venue. Exceptions are manufacturer designed diaper bags, when accompanied by an infant or small child, medical bags, and gallon bags used for bringing food or water into the building. This policy applies to all guests and will allow for reduced touching of bag items in the entry process. Guests that bring a diaper or medical bag will be required to utilize one of the bag check lanes and may encounter delayed entry.
MASK POLICY: Masks are required at all times within Minute Maid Park unless actively eating or drinking. Eating and drinking is only permitted at your ticketed seat (not the general concourse).
ENTRANCES AND GATES: Fans may enter the ballpark through all standard entrances, which will open two hours prior to game time, regardless of day or time of game.
ENTERING STADIUM: All fans will be subject to a verbal health screening upon arrival. Guests will be asked to physically distance while waiting in the gate queue line. The Astros will utilize screening equipment, such as walkthrough metal detectors and tables, at the entry gates in ways to better facilitate physical distancing while performing security screening.
TICKETS: Mobile ticketing has been implemented for all games. The Minute Maid Park Box Office is going digital and will not be open for ticket sales. To purchase tickets on site, fans can text the word “Buy” to 26099. All digital tickets will be accessed through the MLB Ballpark app. The Astros will have Ticket Resolution windows open at each gate on game days.
MOVING IN THE BUILDING: Physical distancing is required when moving throughout the ballpark. We encourage a 6’ distance between you and other parties. To ensure proper hygiene, hand sanitizer dispensers have been positioned at over 500 locations inside the stadium.
RESTROOMS: All restrooms around the concourse will be open. Capacity signage will be posted outside of the restrooms.
CASHLESS SALES: Concessions have gone cashless at all points of sale. To help customers who arrive with cash only, the Astros will have reverse ATMs in the stadium which will change cash into an Astros themed debit card.
Will the roof be open or closed?
The plan for the home opener on April 8th is to have the roof open. Astros management says the decision to open the roof is always weather/condition based and not based on COVID. When the roof is closed, the team says fresh air is pumped in from outside, not recirculated. In any case, the team strives to keep fans and players comfortable with 72-degree temps inside. For most games, the roof is closed. But in April and early May games, the roof could be open.