There may be actual fans in the stands at baseball games in Cincinnati soon, and not just the cardboard cutout kind.
According to C. Trent Rosecrans of TheAthletic.com, the Reds submitted a plan to the state of Ohio and Major League Baseball to let fans return this season.
The plan has apparently been approved already by the city and county, according to an email to seasonal employees which asked if they planned to return to work this year. That emailed asked for a response from those employees by Wednesday, Aug. 12, but said they could opt out and return next year if they chose.
No time frame for a return has been specified, though a source suggested it would be September at the earliest, if at all.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said last month that he didn’t know if fans would be allowed to attend games in person this season.
“I’m sure that every team in every sport has already looked at their ballpark and figured out what different scenarios would be, how we could put people in here and keep distance,” DeWine said. “One advantage is that it’s outside. One of the things we’ve learned is that outside is safer than inside. It’s safer when people keep a distance, it’s safer when people wear a mask. It’s certainly not inconceivable that you could have some fans for baseball or football. It’s all a question of distance.”
NFL teams have offered little in the way of guidance on attendance so far. The Raiders have said they’ll go fanless this year. The Packers have already said they planned to play their first two games with no fans in attendance, though other teams have discussed ways to get some fans in.