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Syracuse Mets and Fans Adjusting Well to Eased COVID-19 Restrictions

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John Smith / WAER News
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A low count of COVID-19 cases in Onondaga County and a climbing vaccination rate is affording Central New Yorkers to enjoy minor league baseball following an entire year off.   The Syracuse Mets to perform vaccination screening checks and still have public health restrictions required to operate with the easing of State COVID-19 restrictions. 

NBT Bank Stadium is expected to welcome many fans this week who need to show proof of their COVID-19 vaccination status, especially if they want seats in fully vaccinated sections without masks.  General Manager Jason Smorol says it all begins with choosing what section.

“Now that we’re fully opened and people are buying the tickets, they are already coming up and asking for… ‘I need 4 tickets in the fully vaccinated section’ or ‘I need 4 tickets in the unvaccinated section’  So, the word is out.  They know coming up, it’s not a surprise to them about our seating arrangement.  The more people know in advance, the easier it’s gonna be.”

In vaccinated sections, there will be one seat of separation between people and non-vaccinated sections fans and staff will be six feet apart.  Despite having dedicated sections in the ballpark to separate those from vaccinated and unvaccinated, you will cross paths with others in common areas.  So, everyone will need a mask to bring to the games to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19.

“So, if you’re fully vaccinated, you can come in, sit in your seats, don’t have to wear a mask in the indoor areas, the team store, the elevators, the restrooms.  Then, if you’re sitting a socially distanced spot, you have to wear your mask… unless, you’re actively eating or drinking while you’re sitting down.   The fans have been really good about it.  For the most part, everyone’s got popcorn or peanuts or a soda and a beer.  They’re usually eating or drinking when they’re sitting.  That’s part of the great thing about baseball and they’ve been great about wearing their masks in the concourse.  Our staff, if they see somebody that has the wrist band that means you’re fully vaccinated and they’re not wearing a mask, that’s great.  And if we don’t see the wristband and you’re in the concourse not wearing a mask, we just politely ask you to wear the mask.”

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Credit John Smith / WAER News
Syracuse Mets GM Jason Smorol strikes a pose for us in front of the ballpark's new scoreboard!

The Syracuse Mets can only utilize a little more than 5-thousand seats of the roughly 10,000 plus total seating capacity due to COVID-19 restrictions.  However, Smorol says if everyone in attendance was vaccinated, they would be allowed sell-out the stadium at fully capacity.  The stadium has installed air purifiers in all indoor locations, plexiglass at all concession stands and the team’s shop.  The team is back for 6 straight days of games beginning Tuesday, June 8th as they host the Worcester Red Sox.  For more details about COVID-19 restrictions and security items to keep in mind, click here.  If 70 percent of the adult population in New York State get vaccinated, the State plans to remove almost all of the restrictions currently in place.  That could happen within a week.