The Texas Rangers are taking a big, big risk with fans and workers alike
Before we get into details, just so you know--I'm not against the idea of having some fans at sporting events right now as we begin year two of the pandemic.
It appears the infection rates have peaked and more people are getting vaccinated by the day.
All of which is great news.
But it does beg a question: Are we ready for capacity crowds at sports events yet?
No, I'm not a doctor and I haven't stayed (recently) at a Holiday Inn Express, but is now really the time?
I ask this because the Texas Rangers announced they are planning on full capacity at their two exhibition games at the end of March and into the regular season. They're doing it as the state has lifted pretty much all of their pandemic restrictions.
Is it too soon? Well, it's kind of an individual decision or belief I suppose. But are they--or we--ready for this?
Yeah, sure, I know everyone is getting antsy. People are chomping at the bit to pick up their old lives so-to-speak, gather and socialize. And to be honest, if we were discussing this in June or July and things have continued on the path they seem to be heading, I probably would be happy to hear about what the Rangers are doing.
But we're not.
Major League Baseball has left it up to teams to decide what's best for attendance to start the 2021 season. So far, not many have made their plans official. I suspect most of them are going to allow fans in some form or fashion, but I'm betting most won't allow full capacity.
I could be wrong though.
There are still plenty of people at this time who haven't been vaccinated. Many of them are going to be the people working to serve fans at the stadiums. Those are the people at the back of state lists, those who are going to get their shots later or last. That's my problem with this.
If Rangers fans or others want to pack the ballpark to see baseball, I guess at the end of the day it's their choice. I would argue its not in any way, shape or form a responsible one but for the past year a frightening amount of people have made decisions that are based on their desires and not out of respect for other people.
And hey, maybe we're past the point of "Super-spreader" events due to the sheer amount of people now vaccinated.
I'm not going to sit here and preach about this and say I'm not ready to go see my Atlanta Braves next month, I am. No, I probably won't do it immediately, but by the time we get to the middle of the summer and the virus continues to retreat, I"m going to try and go watch a game in person. (ed note--I live 3.5 miles from the ballpark)
The Rangers...and governor of Texas's decision to drop restrictions is a little too much, too soon in the minds of well, almost everyone who knows what they're talking about. To my knowledge, the Houston Astros haven't decided if they're going to do the same and I have a sneaking suspicion they won't.
I really believe that we're close to putting the virus and the danger of people dying in bunches behind us. It's like we're inches away from scoring the game winning touchdown and are celebrating while still on the five yard line. Sure, it looks like we're going to get to the end zone, but there's always that chance of a fumble at the last second.
That's why the Rangers decision is dangerous, a big risk. If it backfires they're going to look really bad and people would have become sick because of it. But hey, they'll be getting full on revenue, so what's a little risk when it comes to money? Right?
Oh, and before you ask, yes, I'm aware a bunch of College Football programs have already announced they plan on having full houses this season. Just remember one thing: Those seasons don't start until the end of August/beginning of September. That's not two weeks away....