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Safety measures to expect at Lumen Field for early season Sounders games

Seattle Sounders gather before the kick-off against the Minnesota United in the first half during the Western Conference Final of the MLS Cup Playoffs at Lumen Field on Dec. 07, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Lumen Field is planning to welcome back a limited number of fans for the first time in over a year as the Seattle Sounders open the season against Minnesota United on Friday, April 16.

Similar to neighboring T-Mobile Park, there will be a number of enhanced COVID-19 safety measures in place at Lumen Field, including pod seating and touchless ticketing.

What to expect at T-Mobile Park for the start of the 2021 Mariners season

Face masks will be required for all Sounders fans age 2 and older. The only time fans are not required to wear a mask is when they are actively eating and drinking.

The seating arrangement will keep fans in pods of 1-6, just like at T-Mobile Park for the Mariners, with six feet of distance between each group. Most of the pods will be in groups of two and four. Ticket pods much be purchased together, and it’s expected that each pod will be members of the same household or quarantining unit. No more than two tickets pods will share a row so that no one has to pass another pod to get in or out of their seat.

To help reduce contact points, all tickets will be touchless as fans can scan their tickets from their mobile device using a self-service pedestal when entering Lumen Field. The clear bag policy remains in effect as well, which allows bags of clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC that do not exceed 12″ by 6″ by 12″. Small clutch bags that do not exceed 4.5″ by 6.5″ may be carried into the stadium in a clear bag.

Lumen Field was already a cashless venue, including all points of sale at concession stands and retail, and it will remain that way this year. As far as food, there will be more grab and go options available, and all food will be served in a container with a lid and individually wrapped utensils.

The stadium says all high-touch surfaces will be cleaned before, during, and after each game or event. There are more than 300 hand sanitizer stations in the stadium, as well as signage with health and hygiene reminders. Lumen Field says it has increased operation of HVAC systems to improve ventilation of building spaces, while upgrading filter efficiencies to capture more airborne particles.

Seattle Sounders to play in front of fans at Lumen Field to kick off 2021 MLS season

Per rules of the state’s reopening plan in Phase 3, outdoor sporting events can host 25% of venue capacity or 9,000 spectators, whichever is lower. Sounders FC is expecting to host approximately 7,000 fans in the near term, for the first five matches of the year, including the opener on Friday.

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