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Play Ball: Peoria Chiefs Allowing Fan Attendance This Season

Peoria Chiefs General Manager Jason Mott holds a news conference Wednesday, July 1, 2020 at Dozer Park.
Daniel Musisi / WCBU
Peoria Chiefs General Manager Jason Mott holds a news conference Wednesday, July 1, 2020 at Dozer Park.

The Peoria Chiefs will allow limited in-person fan attendance at Dozer Park this season.

“It's definitely exciting. The first step was getting baseball back, and now the next step was getting the fans,” Chiefs general manager Jason Mott said Wednesday. “Obviously, we'd love to be able to put a lot of people in here, but safety comes first. So, we're excited for anything that we can get at this point.”

After consulting with state and local health officials, Mott said the Advanced-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals will allow 20% occupancy in the seating bowl, arranged in pods. Suites will be capped at 10 guests while picnic areas will be spaced depending on group sizes. Face coverings and social distancing will be required.

“The hope is that everybody understands that we're doing what we we've got to do to have fans (present),” said Mott. “We're not doing this because we want to; this is the way to make sure fans are here.”

After COVID-19 canceled last season, Mott said he senses a strong desire from fans to return to the ballpark.

“I think a lot of people are just eager to get out. It's been a long time since we've been able to do a lot of things, and I think there there's an eagerness there for fans to come out,” he said. “We get tons of calls each day and I'm getting emails from people just checking in.

“There's definitely a lot of excitement that's great to see, and that's what was always the hope. We're going to do our part to make sure people are safe and feel comfortable coming here.”

The Chiefs' 2021 season starts May 4 in Cedar Rapids, followed by home stints against Wisconsin on May 11-16 and the Quad Cities on May 18-23.

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Tim Shelley is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.
Joe Deacon is a reporter at WCBU.