Fans attended a Major League Baseball (MLB) game on Monday night for the first time since March, when the league shut down spring training due to the pandemic.
It was previously announced that MLB would make approximately 11,500 tickets available for each game at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, the site for the National League Championship Series (NLCS) and the World Series.
And the fans came on Monday, for the start of the NLCS between the Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers -- making this the first 2020 playoff game with fans in the stands. No fans were allowed during the 2020 regular season.
They were treated to a good game: The teams were tied at 1-1 in the top of the ninth inning when Austin Riley, on a 1-2 pitch, blasted a solo home run 448 feet to give the Braves a 2-1 lead. Atlanta would go on to win 5-1.
“We haven’t heard anything other than fake crowd noise,” Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman said to reporters after the game.
“This was much needed. It was great. 11,000 people, it really felt like 50,000 people to us because we haven’t had any all year. It was just great to hear cheering for both sides of the teams. It’s just great to have baseball fans in the stands again. Hopefully they were very happy for the first game of the 2020 season and hopefully they come out tomorrow and get another good show.”
Game 2 of the best-of-seven series will be Tuesday.