Maskless fans filed into Coors Field Friday night to come together in the largest crowd yet assembled since the start of the pandemic. Masks were no longer required at the ballpark for those who are vaccinated.
“I’m vaccinated and ready to go. No masks. Rockies playing the Diamondbacks!” said Allie Myers. She and her 20-something friends said they were all vaccinated. They have a list of things they now hope to do, including travel and going to bars and thinking about things they haven’t thought about.
“I can wear lipstick again and not have to worry,” joked Lizzie Holtorf.
Some still wore masks as they headed in.
“I don’t want to seem like I’m against wearing masks, so I’m wearing masks,” said Calie Scott.
Above her, a speaker repeated pre-game announcements, but they indicated there were mask requirements. The Rockies had yet to update it.
Closer to game time, the announcements ceased.
“I’m fully vaccinated, but if I’m in enclosed areas and stuff like that I’m going to put it on more to protect other people.”
There were many different levels of caution.
“I’m from Wyoming anyway,” said one woman without a mask, leaving it unclear if she’d been vaccinated.
“I’m not sure if it feels normal yet,” said mom Dominque Flores who, along with her father, brought Dominique’s two children to their first ever major league game. “A celebration at the end of the school year, it’s been a really hard, hard school year.”
Coors Field will remain at a capacity of 21,000 until June 1. Then it will increase to 35,000.
Eventually, the plan is for full capacity of more than 50,000 for baseball’s All-Star game on July 13.
“I do feel comfortable now that the COVID vaccines are becoming available to more people, and it’s just more safe now,” said young fan Ashley Miller as she sat in the stands. Young ball player Carson Shellhorn was also in the stands to watch the game feeling the stress of COVID. “It’s kind of scary because you don’t really know people’s reaction. If somebody starts coughing you don’t know if they have COVID or not.”
Across from the stadium, Jackson’s had a good crowd and the ambient noise was rising to pre-pandemic levels.
“I’m great with that. Denver came out today and it’s looking good,” said general manager Ben Elk.
After more than a year of holding things together, people were enjoying things together. The bar was shoulder to shoulder at times. He’s had the job of playing police officer, enforcing masking rules.
“I have to tell people, ask them to put their masks on. Ask them to stay in their groups. Let them know they can’t dance with the pretty girl at the bar. Ninety percent of the people were great with that, but there was the ten percent who would complain and write bad reviews.”