In any other year, this would be a joyful certainty: The Dodgers, winners of the World Series, would raise the championship flag at the start of the new season, to the full-throated approval of a sellout crowd.
In 2021, the Dodgers’ opening day attendance could be the traditional 56,000; a fraction of that; or limited to player families and fan cutouts.
As Major League Baseball prepares for a season in which attendance could be restricted, and with the hope of vaccines amid the second year of a pandemic, the league is quietly reaching out to fans to learn what would make them feel that a day at the ballpark would be safe and comfortable.
In a survey presented to a sample of visitors on the league’s website, fans are asked to estimate when they believe live sporting events will be safe to attend; to suggest what percentage of tickets should be sold; to rate the response of local, state, and federal authorities to the pandemic; and to say how they would determine whether going to a game would be safe.
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