FRESNO, California (KGPE) – For the first time in more than a year The Fresno Grizzlies welcomed back fans back to Chukchansi Park at full capacity without masks or social distancing for anyone fully vaccinated.
They had been operating at 33% capacity so far this season, but the state reopening means there are no more limits.
“We’re feeling a lot safer now since more people are being vaccinated,” Judy Verdugo said Tuesday.
“Opening day was a big moment for the organization, just to be able to operate again. Today is something different because this is a turning point,” team president Derek Franks said.
Fresno Social will once again have tables and chairs and the Splash Park will officially reopen.
Season ticket holder Earnest Ware said he’s hoping to go to a few games a week.
“It feels great, great. I love it. I just couldn’t wait to get back to the games,” he said.
Everyone not vaccinated is encouraged to mask up if they cannot physically distance themselves. Gabriel Vasquez said this is his first game since the pandemic started and reopening day should have come much sooner.
“I haven’t been really wearing a mask. I do it where you have to do it and other than that, that’s it,” he said.
Several pandemic precautions will remain in place including digital ticketing, cashless purchases, and sanitation stations. There will also be designated sections for people to sit in pods if they want to continue keeping their space.
“We’re going to keep the things that have made us better and the things that maybe some people are tired of, they won’t have to worry about,” Franks said.
Ware said the best part of the game is the camaraderie between fans, and it’s nice to have it back.
“Feels like we’re finally getting back to normal,” he said.
The Grizzlies will celebrate reopening at their annual 4th of July firework show. For the first time ever they’ll have fireworks all weekend from the 2-4 of July.