MILWAUKEE -- Baseball is back, but its fans will be "juuussst a bit outside" — the stadium.
Like nearly everything else, COVID-19 is changing how you will enjoy America's favorite pastime. Major League Baseball is keeping fans out of ballparks as a safety precaution -- but the Milwaukee Brewers and their fans are finding ways to adapt.
Empty seats at Miller Park
"This being an unusual season we've had to pivot," Teddy Werner, senior vice president of brand experience with the Brewers, said.
With fans forced to watch the Crew away from Miller Park, the team is pivoting to piped-in excitement. MLB has provided each team with a handful of audio files -- everything from applause to the groans of disappointment and the player's favorite tracks.
"You will definitely hear the artificial crowd noise," Werner said. "We're gonna push the envelope a little and play the music the players request us to play."
Milwaukee Brewers Jedd Gyorko (batting), Manny Pina (catching) and Brandon Woodruff (pitching)
Baseball during a pandemic is not your normal game day line-up. But for bars and restaurants, it's the beginning of a COVID-19 comeback.
For a typical home game, hundreds of fans would hitch a ride to the stadium from Leff's Lucky Town in Tosa. Leff's is hopeful a fraction of the usual crowd stays to sip at the bar for all nine innings.
"We're looking forward to it. A lot of our customers have been calling and asking if we're showing games," Leff's General Manager Mike Szohr said.
COVID-19 may have thrown this MLB season a curveball, but the boys of summer — and their fans from afar — are ready to hit it out of the park.
The Brewers begin the pandemic-shortened season on Friday, July 24 in Chicago against the Cubs. They play their first game at Miller Park the following Friday, July 31 against the St. Louis Cardinals.