Baseball fans will be able to return to Chukchansi Park this spring for the first time in over a year to see the Fresno Grizzlies.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- It's back to ballgames for Fresno baseball fans this season.
The Fresno County Health Department has given the green light for a limited number of fans to cheer on the Fresno Grizzlies from the stands this season, starting opening day, May 11.
"It really feeds into the energy on the field and everyone," says Jonathan Bravo with the Grizzlies. "It's absolutely indescribable when we have this place rocking."
The return of fans means the stadium will bring back over 200 game day staff positions.
But a day at the ballpark will look a little different this season. Face coverings will be required.
The stadium that can seat 10,000 will be limited to just 20 percent -- but Grizzlies staff are optimistic that could expand as the COVID climate in Fresno County improves.
Fans will be seated in pods. The seats will be blocked off to maintain space between groups.
Season ticket holders will have first dibs on tickets starting April 21.
"Depending on how many fans exchange out of that game and how many fans commit to coming on the game on the 11th, we will then be able to explore releasing a limited number of single-game tickets," Bravo said.
Walk-up tickets won't be sold at the box office -- digital tickets must be pre-purchased before arriving at the park.
Concessions will be open throughout Chukchansi Park, but it's still unclear what lounge or common areas like the Cantina, Fresno Social and the Splash Park will look like this season.
Across the street, Tioga Sequoia Brewing is looking forward to pouring pre-game beers
"So people come here to pre-game before they come here in their jerseys, you know, wanting to watch sports," says owner Michael Cruz. "It's just that connection between the beer garden and grizzly baseball"
Cruz says Grizzlies' home games could mean a 20-30 percent boost in business.
Mayor Jerry Dyer says he's hopeful bringing baseball back will mean new momentum for downtown Fresno
"What we have to offer in Downtown Fresno, not just at Chukchansi but in the adjacent area with the brewery district and the way that downtown is starting to grow," he said.