Sports, like a lot of the remnants of our former lives, are creeping back into the picture.
Live baseball is back on TV. So is live soccer, live NASCAR and live golf. The NFL Draft was a hopeful highlight of the spring for Cowboys' fans, and team owner Jerry Jones is back in the building at The Star in Frisco.
Thanks to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's plan to reopen the state, youth sports will be back soon, and high school athletes and marching band members at Texas' public schools will be able to return to limited activities June 8. There's even, as of last week, a reason to visit the ticketing page on the Rangers' website.
Starting June 1, the Rangers are going to open their new ballpark for stadium tours. Like everything else sports-related that's reopened so far, the tours will offer a twisted version of normalcy with a healthy dose of melancholy.
If you've tuned in to Korean Baseball Organization or Bundesliga games over the past couple of weeks, you've gotten a bloodless experience. Both leagues typically feature some of the rowdiest atmospheres in world sports. Without fans, their games and matches feel a lot like training exercises. It's better than nothing, but it doesn't feel right.
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has suggested a plan for domestic sports that would create a similar vibe. He calls for fans to be allowed to attend games immediately, but for teams to limit capacity to 30% of their stadiums' capacity. Temperature scans would be required for fans, in addition to limits on concession sales.
Under Patrick's plan, going to a sporting event would lack the sense of community and grand spectacle that makes live sports fun in the first place. It would also feel a lot like going to the airport.
The Rangers' tours of the new park will have a similar vibe.
According to the team, the tours, which cost $25 to attend, will limit ticket sales to 25% capacity. Attendees will scan their own tickets, be expected to stay at least at six feet away from other attendees and frequently wash or sanitize their hands.
They'll also get the Rangers' first giveaway off the season — a "souvenir Globe Life Field face covering." If that's not the perfect 2020 accessory, we don't know what is.
If you're jonesing to see just what the Rangers' new yard look like now that's it's finished, the tour might be your best bet, at least for this year. If Major League Baseball plays games at all, it's likely that many of them, if not all, get played at neutral sites or in empty ballparks.
Like everything this year, though, don't be surprised if it feels a little off.
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