The Albuquerque Isotopes say the amended state public health orders will allow the team to accommodate as many as 6,350 fans at Isotopes Park, where Triple-A baseball will resume this week.
Soccer team New Mexico United, meanwhile, said Saturday that the amendment makes available additional tickets beginning Monday for its home opener at the facility, May 15 vs. Austin. United tickets will be sold in pods, ranging in size from one to six, with overall capacity at 50%.
With Bernalillo County now in the “green” classification regarding the pandemic, and now able to operate at three-feet social distancing, the clubs can add socially distanced pod seating to the manifest. As the primary tenant, the Isotopes share the facility, officially known as Rio Grande Credit Union Field at Isotopes Park, with United.
“This is extremely significant,” said John Traub, Isotopes general manager, in a statement. “This is a major step towards the path to normalcy. We’re thrilled that more fans will be able to attend our games to start the season.”
The pandemic canceled all minor league baseball, including in Albuquerque, for the 2020 season. The 2021 season opener for the Isotopes, the Triple-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, is Thursday vs. Sugar Land (Texas).
United played its 2020 season on the road.
With these changes in the county under the public health order, all seating sections for Isotopes games may be occupied, including berm seating on the terraced grass beyond the right-field fence. The club says it will sell berm tickets, as in the past, on game days only unless all other seating areas have sold out in advance.
The public health order still requires fans to wear face coverings (unless actively eating and drinking) inside the ballpark.
The Isotopes are selling tickets only to their 12 May home games for now, in anticipation that conditions may change in the coming months. The team’s first two six-game home stands are Thursday through May 11 vs. Sugar Land (Houston Astros affiliate) and May 20-25 vs. Oklahoma City (Los Angeles Dodgers affiliate).