( Cincinnati ) - Reds COO Phil Castellini says they are making the best of a difficult situation.
Opening Day 2020 is here, but tonight's game against the Detroit Tigers will be played without fans in the stands at Great American Ball Park. The Reds will pipe in crowd noise and do other things to make it sound like a typical game on the radio.
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Inside the ballpark some changes as well. Instead of the letters "MLB" under the baseball logo on the field, the Reds tonight will spell out in bold BLACK letters "BLM" for Black Lives Matter. Castellini says the club plans to do several things this Opening Day to reflect the racial unrest in the city and the country while baseball was shutdown. Players have been given the option of wearing a Black Lives Matter patch on their uniform sleeve for the weekend.
On the same day that the Reds open the season in an empty ballpark, the club has presented a plan to city and county leaders aimed at allowing fans to return. The proposal calls for strict social distancing at a capacity only 1/5 of what GABP can hold.
Castellini says all fans will be required to wear masks if they get the approval to open back up.
After city and county leaders agree to the proposal, it will go to the Ohio Department of Health.