Valley's ballparks, amusement parks hope to reopen soon

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- New guidance released by the state is bringing a renewed sense of hope to Central Valley ballparks.

At the beginning of next month, the state will allow outdoor sports to resume within the purple tier.

Visalia Rawhide president Sam Sigal said this is the moment they've been waiting for.

"We have something to look forward to, something that we have been looking forward to now for over a year," he said.

The adjustment to the state's reopening plan comes with limitations.

Only 100 people can attend in the most restrictive tier.

As a county advances in tiers attendance will increase and concessions will be allowed to resume.

RELATED: Chukchansi Park to welcome up to 2,000 fans for Fresno Grizzlies opener after county enters red tier

Sigal said they're now looking at a May 4th home opener.

"I think really all around the country opening day 2021 is really going to be about baseball being back and that's exciting," he said.

Outdoor amusement parks can also resume operations April 1st.

But the county where the park is must first enter the red tier and capacity limited to only 15%.

RELATED: CA to allow theme parks like Disneyland, live shows to reopen at reduced capacity as early as April 1

Every time a county moves up a tier, capacity will increase by an additional 10%

At Fresno's Island Water Park, maintenance staff have already made their return and have been preparing the grounds for about the last month. General Manager Bob Martin said they are optimistic for a Memorial Day Weekend opening.

"We hope that people are going to come through the gates like this is a grand opening, like, we finally got out of the house and this is the greatest place to come to," he said.

Martin said when they reopen they'll only have about 500 guests a day.

People will have to purchase their tickets online for a specific date.

Season passes won't be offered this year, but passes that were previously purchased will be honored.

"We don't expect to be able to go to capacity which is 6,000 to 7,000 people but we do hope throughout the summer we can go to 2,000 to 3,000 people," he said.

A rough start to 2021, now looking promising, as we slowly take a step towards normalcy.
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