Houston Astros fans return to Minute Maid Park for home opener

The Houston Astros home opener will mark the return of fans to an Astros game at Minute Maid Park for the first time since Game 7 of the 2019 World Series.

The Astros are planning to have the roof of Minute Maid Park open, weather permitting, during Thursday night’s matchup against the Oakland Athletics.

Single-game tickets are available online. Some sections will have physically distanced seating pods. The Astros say games will not exceed 50% capacity during the month of April.

Pregame ceremonies begin at 6:40 p.m. and the game begins at 7:10 p.m.

Singer and songwriter DeSz will perform the National Anthem, the Joint Forces Color Guard will present the colors, and the 138th Fighter Wing, Detachment 1 out of Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base will conduct a flyover, weather permitting.

MORE: Houston Astros single-game tickets for April dates go on sale Wednesday morning

New Houston Police Chief Troy Finner will throw the ceremonial first pitch to Astros team doctor Dr. David Lintner. Mayor Sylvester Turner,  Simone Biles, Mattress Mack and others will make the Play Ball call in a video montage.

The Houston Methodist Singers from The Center for Performing Arts Medicine at Houston Methodist will perform God Bless America in the middle of the 7th inning.

The Astros say COVID-19 guidelines have been put in place. Bags will not be allowed, with some exceptions. Masks are required at all times within Minute Maid Park, except while eating or drinking. Concession sales have gone cashless.

View the list of guidelines below:

BAG POLICY: Bags will not be allowed in the venue. Exceptions are manufacturer designed diaper bags, when accompanied by an infant or small child, medical bags, gallon bags used for bringing food or water into the building and single compartment clutches, wristlets, and hip/fanny packs that do not exceed 9" x 5". This policy applies to all guests and will allow for reduced touching of bag items in the entry process. Guests that bring a diaper or medical bag will be required to utilize one of the bag check lanes and may encounter delayed entry.

MASK POLICY: Masks are required at all times within Minute Maid Park unless actively eating or drinking. Eating and drinking is only permitted at your ticketed seat (not the general concourse).

ENTRANCES AND GATES: Fans may enter the ballpark through all standard entrances, which will open two hours prior to game time, regardless of day or time of game.

WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN ENTERING: All fans will be subject to a verbal health screening upon arrival. Guests will be asked to physically distance while waiting in the gate queue line. The Astros will utilize screening equipment, such as walkthrough metal detectors and tables, at the entry gates in ways to better facilitate physical distancing while performing security screening.

TICKETS: Mobile ticketing has been implemented for all games. The Minute Maid Park Box Office is going digital and will not be open for ticket sales. To purchase tickets on site, fans can text the word "Buy" to 26099. All digital tickets will be accessed through the MLB Ballpark app. The Astros will have Ticket Resolution windows open at each gate on game days.

MOVING IN THE BUILDING: Physical distancing is required when moving throughout the ballpark. They encourage a 6’ distance between you and other parties. To ensure proper hygiene, hand sanitizer dispensers have been positioned at over 500 locations inside the stadium.

RESTROOMS: All restrooms around the concourse will be open. Capacity signage will be posted outside of the restrooms.

CASHLESS SALES: Concessions have gone cashless at all points of sale. To help customers who arrive with cash only, the Astros will have reverse ATMs in the stadium which will change cash into an Astros themed debit card. The reverse ATMs will be placed near the existing ATMs at Sections 108, 218, 315, and near Center Field Gate.