CPBL to allow more fans to attend baseball games starting Friday

CNA file photo

TAIPEI (CNA) — The Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) will allow more fans to attend games played at local stadiums starting Friday, increasing the maximum attendance from 1,000 to 2,000, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Thursday.

Although spectators will still not be allowed to bring their own food to venues, boxed-meals will be available for purchase at games, the CECC said.

Special seating arrangements, not bound by social distancing restrictions, will also be made available at stadiums for families, the center said.

According to the CPBL schedule, the Fubon Guardians play the Rakuten Monkeys at their home stadium in New Taipei’s Xinzhuang District on Friday, while the Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions team is at home to the CTBC Brothers at Tainan Municipal Baseball Stadium the same day.

The CPBL currently has five teams, the other being the Yunlin-based Wei Chuan Dragons.

Each boxed-meal will come with an alcohol wipe to be used for disinfection based on the CECC’s COVID-19 prevention guidelines, according to Fubon Guardians deputy manager Chen Chao-ju (陳昭如).

Su Tai-an (蘇泰安), who manages the Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions, said meals and beverages at the venue will be simple and easy to carry.

As a safety precaution, seats in the outfield will be arranged so spectators can maintain a safe distance between each other, Su said.

The CPBL gained international attention as the first professional baseball league in the world to start its season this year.

Taiwan’s professional baseball league, which has played in empty stadiums since the beginning of the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, began admitting 1,000 fans to games on May 8.