BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Let’s turn two! Baseball is back and so is the lively atmosphere Baltimore has been starving for since 2019.
It’s been more than 560 days since fans were last at Camden Yards watching America’s game — that was on September 22, 2019.READ MORE: 'I'm So Excited' | Orioles Head Groundskeeper Nicole Sherry Says Her Crew Is Ready For Opening Day
Will Schadty brought his family to the game.
“This is a tradition for us. We come down early, grab breakfast, come over here and hang out. Baseball is in our blood,” he said.
Greg Bader is the Senior Vice President in Administration for the Orioles.
“We will have pod seating for everyone, so you’re either going to be in a seat that is six feet apart from everyone else in a two-seat, four-seat or six-seat pod,” Bader said.
Masks are required for everyone, but fans WJZ spoke to didn’t seem to mind.
A man named Johnny, who is originally from Baltimore, flew in all the way from Milwaukee for the game.
“It’s so beautiful to see Camden Yards and to see Sliders and Pickles back open,” he said. “It’s been such a tough year on so many businesses.”
Anna Taylor agreed.
“So happy to see baseball in person,” Taylor said.
“I almost shed tears as soon as I got in there,” Johnny Kiskis said. “It was absolutely electric.”
There’s really no better way to describe the feeling.
“Even 25% capacity it felt like it was at 100% capacity,” Griffin Robinette said.
Pickles Pub usually isn’t open until 11 a.m. On Thursday, however, there was an obvious exception.
Tom Leonard is the manager of the popular restaurant/bar.READ MORE: Baltimore Businesses Hope Orioles Opening Day Knocks Sales Out Of The Park After Tough 2020
“We’re going to beat last year’s sales by 100%, which is pretty positive, so it’s just good to have things out,” he said outside of a packed outdoor area.
It’s a special year for the Orioles to return to those familiar faces, as there is no place like home.
Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott and United States Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
The national anthem was performed by Baltimore-native Zadia and concluded with a flyover by the 104th Fighter Squadron of the Maryland Air National Guard 175th Wing.
This year, all fans throughout Birdland will be celebrated as Mo Gaba’s Fan of the Year, in recognition of their unwavering support that fuels the team each and every day. The entire crowd shouted the ceremonial “Play Ball!” prior to the first pitch.
The Orioles also recognized frontline workers in a special moment as part of the pregame ceremony.
— Sean Streicher (@SeanStreicher) April 8, 2021
The Orioles ultimately fell to the Red Sox 7-3.
WHAT’S NEW AT ORIOLE PARK AT CAMDEN YARDS:
Food and Drink
- Charm City Diner: Will feature a selection of roast beef sandwiches, patty melt, chili cheese dogs and gravy fries. It’s located on the Lower Level Concourse at Section 72.
- Vida Taco Bar: Will feature a selection of tacos, nachos and margaritas. It’s located on the Lower Level Concourse at Section 29.
WHAT ELSE TO EXPECT:
Expect more interaction with your mobile devices due to the coronavirus pandemic. Tickets will be digital only and all payments will be cashless.
You must wear your mask at all times, when you’re not eating or drinking, even if seated.
The park is also featuring pod seating to keep fans social distanced.
Also you cannot bring a bag in this year.MORE NEWS: Orioles To Honor Baltimore Man Who Helped Support Struggling Restaurants Amid COVID-19 Pandemic