Spring training is almost here, and the Oakland A’s begin their Cactus League schedule of games on Feb. 28. Unlike last year’s regular season at the Coliseum, though, fans will be able to buy tickets to these exhibitions in Arizona.
With approval granted by MLB and the local county, the A’s will “welcome a limited number of fans to Hohokam Stadium for the 2021 Spring Training season,” per their press release Friday. Tickets will go on sale starting the morning of Feb. 18 at athletics.com, with some complimentary tix provided for vaccinated health care workers in the Phoenix area.
This will mark the first time that fans have been allowed to attend A’s games since last March, before the coronavirus pandemic shutdown. From the team’s release:
The A’s are planning for limited capacity that will follow social distancing guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and approved by local health officials. To maximize safety, tickets will be sold in physically distanced “pods” of two or four contiguous seats only.
The actual schedule of games for the Cactus League has been out for a while, but in a new announcement Friday, a couple of the dates were tweaked and split squads were removed. The A’s were originally set to begin on Feb. 27, but now they’ll get going one day later, against the Dodgers instead of the Brewers.
The start times for the games also weren’t officially announced until today. They’re exactly what you think, 1:05 or 1:10 p.m. pretty much every day, with the caveat that the clocks change on March 14 so anything before that day will happen at noon PT here in the Bay Area. March 13 against the Reds is a night game at 6:05 p.m. (or 5:05 p.m. in Oakland), and March 26 against the Dodgers will be at 6:05 p.m. whether you’re in AZ or CA.
One major difference will come at the end of the spring. The annual Bay Bridge Series between the A’s and Giants will be held in Arizona instead of at the Coliseum and Oracle Park, notes Shayna Rubin of the Mercury News. The rivals will also play only two exhibition games instead of the usual three, on March 28 (at 1:05 p.m.) and March 29 (at noon:05).