We were so excited to see the annoucement of the 2021 season for the Round Rock Express eariler this week. And today, they announced their safety precautions:
The Round Rock Express are excited to welcome fans back to Dell Diamond for the 2021 season! Following the release of the team’s schedule earlier this week, the Express have announced initial health, safety and ticketing procedures to be implemented at Dell Diamond.
“We are thrilled to open the gates of Dell Diamond for Express baseball once again,” Express General Manager Tim Jackson said. “Our team has been working closely with the City of Round Rock and Williamson County to develop a safe re-opening procedure since the pandemic began. This plan has been executed several times over the last 11 months at various events at the ballpark. The health and safety of guests, players and staff remains our top priority and we are confident that our plan allows for a limited number of fans to re-enter Dell Diamond in a safe, appropriate and responsible manner.”
In accordance with City of Round Rock, Williamson County and Major League Baseball (MLB) requirements, Dell Diamond will open to the public for the 2021 season at a reduced capacity. As required by MLB, the seating bowl has been reconfigured to pod-style seating, with groups of seats available in each pod. Even as federal, state and local percentage capacity restrictions are eased, Dell Diamond will continue to operate under this configuration to maintain the required six feet of distance between each pod. As government and MLB restrictions requiring six feet of social distancing are relaxed, Dell Diamond will adjust accordingly.
In addition to the pod-style seating, MLB is also expected to initially mandate a player safety buffer zone that could possibly restrict the usage of the front rows of several sections closest to the playing surface and dugouts, as well as the berm area around the bullpens.
With a limited number of seats available to begin the 2021 season, Express Season Members will get first priority at accessing tickets, which will become available during a pre-determined window and on a homestand-by-homestand basis. Season Members who previously purchased 2020 or 2021 memberships will automatically receive a credit to their account equivalent to the number of seats in the account for each game in the current homestand.
All seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis as it will not be possible to place Season Members in their actual seats under the current stadium configuration. Due to the limited capacities, Season Members are strongly encouraged to opt into the games they wish to attend quickly after each window becomes available to increase the probability of securing their preferred seats. Any unused credits will continue to roll over until redeemed for memberships through the 2022 season.
If and when the six foot requirement expires and Dell Diamond can operate at full capacity, Season Members will automatically receive their original seat location for all remaining games in their plan. Season Members should be on the lookout for an email from their sales representative with additional information. In the meantime, Season Members are encouraged to ensure that they canaccess their online accounts to select tickets for upcoming games.
After a brief window for Season Members to select their tickets, any remaining inventory will be made available for the general public to purchase on a first-come, first-served basis. Those wishing to receive priority when selecting seats can become new Express Season Members by placing a deposit via RRExpress.com.
All 2020 and 2021 Flex Plan and 2020 single-game ticket buyers can contact the Round Rock Express Ticket Office when tickets become available to the general public in order to redeem vouchers to be exchanged for tickets, based on availability. All 2020 Flex Plans have been automatically deferred to the 2021 season with each account receiving two additional bonus vouchers, free of charge. All 2020 single-game tickets will be matched at a two-for-one rate for the 2021 season, free of charge. The Ticket Office can be reached via email at [email protected] or by phone at 512.255.2255, extension 1.
Digital and Cashless Facility
Dell Diamond is transitioning to become exclusively digital and cashless to help further reduce touchpoints around the facility. Moving forward, all tickets and parking issued by the Round Rock Express will be digital. Fans are strongly encouraged to enter Dell Diamond using digital tickets accessed through their smartphones, however those wishing to print their tickets at home will be allowed to do so this season.
To avoid unnecessary contact and the exchange of cash, Dell Diamond is striving to operate as a cashless facility beginning in 2021, instead preferring credit cards and gift cards for payment at all storefronts, including the Railyard Team Store and parking lot.
Extended Protective Netting
In partnership with the City of Round Rock, the Express have initiated a project to extend the protective netting at Dell Diamond down the left field and right field lines, increasing the number of seats that will be protected from foul balls, bats and other objects entering the seating bowl from the playing surface. The new extension of the netting will now stretch from Section 112 through Section 126, ensuring the majority of the stadium will be protected without deterring from fans’ view or enjoyment of the game.
Additional Safety Measures
Per MLB’s Fan Attendance Policies for 2021, all attendees age two years and older must wear a face covering over their nose and mouth at all times on Dell Diamond property for Round Rock Express baseball games, other than when actively eating or drinking in their ticketed seat.
A clear bag policy will also be enforced to reduce the need for security to inspect the belongings of guests.
Finally, Dell Diamond is now a non-smoking facility. Designated smoking areas will be available outside the stadium.
The Round Rock Express will continue to monitor and evaluate the team’s comprehensive health, safety and ticketing procedures throughout the season. The club will remain fluid as it is likely that some of these procedures may ease as restrictions are relaxed over the summer. Fans are encouraged to stay tuned for updates by visiting RRExpress.com, signing up for the E-Train email newsletter and following the Express on social media.
“We are optimistic that these procedures set for Opening Day will be eased as the summer continues and more Americans receive the COVID-19 vaccine,” Express President Chris Almendarez said. “I ask all fans visiting Dell Diamond to be flexible as we navigate these changes to our normal routines. We strive to emerge from this as a stronger and safer team, and can’t wait to welcome each of you back to the ballpark.”
For more information about Dell Diamond’s comprehensive safety plan, fans can visit RRExpress.com/Safety.
To view the full lineup of a variety of special events coming to Dell Diamond in 2021, visit RRExpress.com/Events. For more information about the Express, visit RRExpress.com or call (512) 255-2255. Subscribe to the E-Train email newsletter and keep up with the Express on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!