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2021 COVID-19 Readiness Plan. Please revisit for future questions and updates as they come available to the team and our fans.

GENERAL STATEMENT 

On behalf of the Kalamazoo Growlers, members of the Northwoods League, the practices identified below represent best practical efforts to keep our community safe when attending functions, events and games at Homer Stryker Field, in preparation for the 2021 season. The outlined steps and initiatives are intended to preserve the safety of staff, players and fans.

The Growlers will continue to follow the guidance of national, state and local agencies, as well as the directives of the Northwoods League, to develop these policies and to determine the appropriate time for hosting events of various scopes at Homer Stryker Field.  The input of local and regional medical and health partners will also play a significant role in informing the below policies.

 

BALLPARK SANITATION 

  1. Increased regularity and scope of washdowns and cleanings.
  2. Before each game, ballpark seats, tables and high touch areas will be sanitized.
  3. Added hand sanitizing stations for public and employee use around the ballpark along with highly visible signage with sanitation policies and procedures 
  4. Restrooms
    1. Restrooms to be disinfected before each game and once during the game
    2. Doors to remain open and required entry and exit doors
    3. Limited number of guest in the restroom at one time and encourage social distancing

 

ENTRY / EXIT

  1. Fans are highly encouraged to check their temperature before the game. If a fan does not feel well or is running a fever over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, the Growlers ask that they do not attend the game. Please call your ticket representative before the game to discuss alternate options.
  2. Fans are required to wear a mask in the ballpark at all times except when eating and drinking food in their designated seats (the Growlers will have masks for sale at the ballpark).
  3. Lines will be arranged and marked to encourage proper distancing between pods of guests
  4. Prior to entering Homer Stryker Field, fans will be required to participate in health screening via a QR code which will direct fans to the screening page of the Kalamazoo Growlers website. Based on the imputed answers to the screening questions, fans will receive a Green Checkmark or Red Checkmark on their device. Only fans with Green check marks will be allowed into Homer Stryker Field. 
  5. To limit grouping and lines outside of the ballpark, and to limited concourse flow in typically congested areas:: 
    1. Fans with tickets in section 100-104, 200-204 will be asked to enter through the Honor Credit Union Main Gate, and exit through the same gate. 
    2. Fans with tickets in the Home Plate Club, Backstop, sections 105-109, or the Dugout Clubs will be asked to enter through Gate 2, and walk immediately East to their seating location. Exit following the same procedure.
    3. Fans with tickets in section 210-214, or the Bear Trap, will be asked to enter through gate 3, and proceed immediately to the East. Exit following the same procedure.
  6. For ticket taking the pod leader will hold out all tickets and a Growlers employee will check each ticket without touching. 
  7. At the conclusion of the game, all fans will be asked to remain in their seat while the Growlers dismiss individual rows to alleviate congestion.

 

SOCIALLY DISTANT SEATING

  1. The Growlers have recreated their existing facility seating chart to allow for proper distancing, thus decreasing overall ballpark capacity factoring in separate pods to allow for proper distancing in all seating areas.
  2. The team will begin with a 20% capacity of 1,113 with ALL seats socially distanced apart.
  3. Group and hospitality areas will operate with reduced capacity to promote proper distancing.  Tables and chairs will be properly spaced to meet distancing standards.
  4. Rows and seats will remain vacant to maintain proper distancing between parties. 

 

  1. First Base Grandstand. Sections 100-104 (Blue sections).
    1. Red seats indicate a buffer of unoccupied seats between bookable seats and aisle.
    2. White seats indicate seats for sale, with a 2 seat buffer in between bookable seats to allow proper social distancing.
    3. Standard Readiness Plans from similar arenas and stadiums allow fans to sit in every other row. Ballpark renovations in 2018 removed every other row of seats in these sections, allowing each row to be filled with fans. 
  2. First Base Grandstand. Sections 200-204 (Red sections).
    1. Red seats indicate a buffer of unoccupied seats.
    2. White seats are seats for sale.
    3. Every other row will be unoccupied to maintain proper social distancing.

  1. Suite Seats. 
    1. Red seats indicate buffer of unoccupied seats between bookable seats and aisle.
    2. White seats indicate seats for sale, with a 2 seat buffer in between bookable seats to allow proper social distancing.
    3. Similar to sections 100-104, previous ballpark renovations removed every other row of seats, allowing each row to be filled for this plan.

  1. Home Plate Club and Backstop. 
    1. These sections consist of semi-circular tables with 4 fixed seats around them. 
    2. The red seats have been removed to maintain proper social distancing.
    3. Green seats are bookable seats.

  1. Third Base Grandstand. 
    1. Sections 210-214
      1. Each row has a buffer on the two end seats.
      2. Seating will be General Admission. There will be indicators on seats to give fans direction as to what seats can be used. There will be a buffer between groups/pods of people. Tickets will indicate a section that fans are restricted to.
      3. There is a buffer row every other row in each section.

  1. Group Areas
    1. Bear Trap: 
      1. Bullpen seating area. 
        1. Drink rail seating in pods of 6 chairs 6 feet apart
        2. Pub Tables seating 4 people 6 feet apart
      2. Fan Deck seating area. 
        1. Groupings of 6 chair pods 6 feet apart along drink rails
        2. 13 pub tables with seats for 6 people and 6 foot spacing between seats between tables.
        3. 5 pods of individual seats for 6 people with 6 foot spacing between pods along the back drink rail.
      3. The Porch seating area.
        1. 3 pods of 4 people separated by 6 feet
        2. 4 pub tables with seats for 6 people separated by 6 feet. 
      4. Covered Awning. 
        1. 6 pub tables with seats for 6 people spaced 6 feet apart.
        2. 6 pub tables with seats for 4 people spaced 6 feet apart.
        3. 4 semi circle tables with seats for 4 people spaced 6 feet apart. 
      5. Home Run Alley.
        1. 6 semicircular tables with seats for 4 people spaced 6 feet apart.
        2. 5 pub tables with seats for 4 people spaced 6 feet apart.

 

Bear Cave

    1. Upper level seating area. 
      1. 4 Picnic tables with seats for 4 people spaced 6 feet apart.
      2. 10 pub tables with seats for 6 people spaced 6 feet apart.
    2. Lower seating area. 
      1. 8 semicircular tables with seats for 4 people spaced 6 feet apart.
      2. 7 pub tables with seats for 6 people spaced 6 feet apart.

 

  1. First and Third Base Dugout Clubs. 
    1. First and Third Base Dugout Clubs are mirror images.
      1. 4 square tables with 4 people each. 6 feet apart.
      2. 3 round pub tables with seats for 4 people spaced 6 feet apart.

 

 

GAMEDAY STAFFING POLICIES

  1. All staff members will be provided with and required to wear protective equipment including masks and gloves and will be required to wash and sanitize frequently.
  2. All staff members will be instructed to stay home if not feeling well.
  3. Staff members may be subject to health screenings and temp checks upon arrival.
  4. Continuous training for staff members regarding updated policies, procedures and guidelines related to health and safety. 

 

CLUBHOUSE & ON-FIELD PERSONNEL 

  1. Players and coaches will wear masks when not actively playing in the game.
  2. The Growlers will work with the Bronson Sports Medicine team, Kalamazoo Parks and Recreation and the Northwoods League on proper guidelines for social distancing in the dugouts and locker room.
  3. Unvaccinated players 19 and under will complete weekly COVID-19 antigen tests.
  4. More specific guidelines are outlined for players, coaches, and umpires for before the game, during play, and away from the ballpark.

 

TICKET PURCHASE / SERVICING

  1. As a general practice, fans will be asked to use mobile devices for tickets.  Limited printed tickets will be available upon request.
  2. Stanchions and/or spacing markers will promote proper social distancing between fans waiting in lines.
  3. Season ticket and group/hospitality customers will have the option of contactless ticket distribution; all subsequent exchanges or additional ticket requests may be conducted electronically.

 

FAN EXPERIENCE

Cashless Payment

  1. The Growlers highly encourage contactless credit card and electronic payments at all concession, merchandise and ticket locations throughout the ballpark.
  2. Fans will not be required to sign for credit card purchases.

Food and Beverage

  1. Additional staff will be hired to assist with food and beverage policies and to help disinfect surfaces before, during, and after all events.
  2. Staff will have preseason training along with in season updates and reminders to ensure proper procedures are followed.
  3. Hand sanitizer will be provided at all food and beverage outlets and proper distancing will be enforced with staff and signage at all areas.
  4. Growlers staff will be required to wear proper personal protection, including masks and gloves.
  5. Growlers staff will be serving all fans in all inclusive areas throughout the ballpark.
  6. Condiment packets will be used instead of pumps.
  7. All utensils will be pre-packaged and distributed by Growlers staff
  8. All beverage stations will be staffed allowing staff members to serve fans.
  9. Beer cans will not be opened by Growlers staff. Fans must open in front of staff members.

Gifts/Handouts, Fun Zone

  1. Handouts will still occur with protective measures in place, i.e. programs will be handed out with gloves.
  2. 5 Pack Gifts will still be distributed. Fans will not be permitted to exchange their gifts for a different size.
  3. Fun Zone will be sanitized before the game and high touch areas to be sanitized throughout the game. Fun Zone to have a limited number of participants and any given time.

Team Store

  1. Number of fans in the Team Store will be limited to 10 at a time.
  2. Fans will be asked to wear a mask while in the store and sanitize hands upon entry/exit.
  3. The store and checkout line will be constructed in a way to allow for proper social distancing.

 

COMMUNICATION / MESSAGING

  1. Signage will be posted throughout the ballpark reminding fans of the current State of MI recommendations and CDC guidelines.
  2. The Growlers plan will be posted on the Growlers website and shared throughout the season on the team’s social media and through their email channels.
  3. Messaging around the ballpark will educate and encourage fans proper procedures.
  4. Links to new stadium maps, this readiness plan, and other important information will be included in receipt emails to ticket buyers.