It’s no secret that baseball fans add a level of intensity to the game, and this is usually on full display during October. With the current state of the country, however, this year’s postseason has a different feel after just a small sample size. Raucous crowds have been replaced with static background noise, and players have been left to create their own energy in order to get through the grind. Dodgers Stadium has had better crowd noise than most others, but the difference is still extremely noticeable.
While the early results of these playoff broadcasts have been mediocre at best, there is reason to believe that better days could be around the corner should the Dodgers advance deep enough into the playoffs.
Early Wednesday afternoon, MLB confirmed a long-held belief that they would be allowing a limited number of fans for the final two rounds of the postseason in Arlington, adding a new but welcome wrinkle into this season.
MLB announces it will allow 11,500 fans in the stadium at the NLCS and World Series in Arlington.
Tickets are on sale next week. pic.twitter.com/nfk4DKqyaK
— Yahoo Sports MLB (@MLByahoosports) September 30, 2020
This announcement, while a huge development, does not come as much of a surprise. Rob Manfred has made it well known that he would like to see fans in the stands at some point.
During the Dodgers’ pregame press availability prior to Game 1, Southern California News Group’s J.P. Hoornstra asked Dave Roberts for his thoughts on the subject, specifically how much of an adjustment it would be for players to transition from empty ballparks to a few thousand fans in the stands.
“I think it would be an adjustment, but I think it would be so welcome by everyone. I applaud the players for getting through this without fans, and it is sort of like a new normal and guys are used to it… but man. Teams that get to that situation and have fans, it’s gonna be pretty cool.”
Dave’s comments were further echoed by Clayton Kershaw, who was asked the same question from Hoornstra during his presser.
“Probably, yeah. It’s a welcome adjustment, I think, to have some fans in the stands. And if we’re fortunate enough to get there, it’s in Dallas so selfishly I like that as well. But it will be different, and I think maybe [with] fake crowd noise and real crowd noise, it might be a welcome adjustment for us. I think that’d be great, honestly.”
The fact that Kershaw is from the Dallas area probably adds to his excitement about having fans present, as he can finally have the familiar faces of Ellen, Cali, Charley, and their youngest Cooper cheering him on.
It’s safe to say that these Dodgers are ready for some crowd-provided energy, whether that be cheers from Dodgers fans or boos from those that tragically root for another team. When you’re used to deafening support, it’s a major shift to suddenly hear everything that happens on the field.
11,500 fans is a far cry from the 56,000 that would normally be supporting our boys throughout their playoff run, but it will be a welcome sight to see something other than cardboard cutouts fill the seats of a baseball stadium once again.