California on track to have fans in stands at Opening Day, Gov. Newsom says

Manager Gabe Kapler of the San Francisco Giants stands in the dugout before their exhibition game against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on July 20, 2020 in Oakland, California.
Manager Gabe Kapler of the San Francisco Giants stands in the dugout before their exhibition game against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on July 20, 2020 in Oakland, California. Photo credit Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Fans of California’s five Major League Baseball teams could be cheering from the stands soon.

Gov. Gavin Newsom indicated Wednesday that ballparks could open for fans for every game this season. The governor said the state and league executives have been working on the details with an optimistic look ahead to Opening Day.

"We have confidence that looking forward to April, Opening Day, where we are likely to be if we all do our job and we don’t let down our guard…then I have all the confidence in the world fans will be back safely in a lot of outdoor venues," he told reporters at an event in Long Beach.

Gov. Newsom, however, did not make any guarantees, adding that another uptick in coronavirus cases could slow down the process even more.

State coronavirus guidelines currently ban fans at professional sports.

The modification would very likely require games to be held at limited capacity and with health protocols like requiring masks and distancing. None of the counties in which California's MLB franchises are located are in the state's orange tier, which allows for 20 percent capacity inside stadiums.

In the Bay Area, the Oakland A's are scheduled to open at RingCentral Coliseum against the Houston Astros on April 1. The San Francisco Giants face the Colorado Rockies in their Oracle Park opener on April 9.

The defending World Series Champion Los Angeles Dodgers open at home against the Washington Nationals on April 9.