Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. (WAOW) -- The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters have announced safety guidelines as baseball fans, players, coaches and staff return to the ballpark.
The guidelines for the ballpark are a collaboration between the Rafters, the city of Wisconsin Rapids, and the Wood County Health Department. They are subject to change at any time.
The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters general manager Andy Francis made a statement on the guidelines:
Hello Rafters Fans! We are excited to welcome back Rafters baseball for the Summer of 2020! This is only possible due to the tireless cumulative efforts as a League, as an organization, and as a community over the last three months. These guidelines are what we believe will help us operate Witter Field in the safest way possible for the foreseeable future, while also providing you with the Rafters experience you have come to know over the past 10 years. We are asking every member from the community that enters Witter Field to help us implement and enforce these guidelines. If we do our part, this will truly be a place where our community come together safely. #RollRats.
The guidelines are broken up into segments, including: stadium cleanliness, ballpark entry, stadium seating, bathrooms, and more. They are listed below.
- Staff will sanitize the ballpark after each game.
- Fans are to throw away their own trash as they leave the grandstands during and after the games.
- Trash lids will remain open for contact-less disposal.
- Hand sanitizer stations will be set up across the ballpark at every point of sale and high traffic areas.
- Fans are encouraged to take their temperature before arriving to Witter Field, and stay home if they have a fever (considered 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher).
- Fans are expected to follow social distancing as they line up to enter the stadium by following the X's on the ground.
- Fans are encouraged to wear masks.
- Witter Field will have two entry points. The left entrance gate is for package holders, the right entrance gate is for single game purchasers and groups.
- Fans hand tickets to ticket takers with the barcode out, and the ticket taker will mark the barcode to confirm entry.
- Witter Field currently has a capacity of 650 people, the number may increase at a later time.
- The stadium is broken into pods, with specific spacing in between each pod.
- Fans will be asked to stay in their designated seat, and encouraged not to put their belongings in open seats.
- Group areas will have tables and seating spaced out for social distancing.
Food and Beverage:
- Sunflower seeds will be removed from menus and dugouts, and condiment tables will not be used. Condiment packets and utensils are available upon request.
- All self-serve food locations will have staff members serving fans.
- Beverage tabs are to be taken off by an individual and handed to a staff member.
- Fans are to follow social distancing while in line for food and beverage.
- Five fans are allowed in the Rafthouse Merchandise Store at one time.
- Fans are not able to try on clothing, and exchanges or returns will not be permitted.
- Six fans are allowed in each bathroom at a time, and a staff member will be stationed at each location to ensure social distancing.
- Four portable toilets will be placed in the ballpark to alleviate lines.
- Employees are expected to be examples of social distancing, and are not permitted to touch fans.
- Interns from outside of Wood County will be tested for COVID-19 and quarantined until results are returned.
- Staff are encouraged to take their temperature before arriving at the ball park, and will have it recorded upon arrival at the field. Anyone with a fever will not be allowed in the facility until it subsides.
- Staff will wear masks and gloves at all times, periodically changing gloves.
- Fan Zone inflatables won't be used in the immediate future.
Rafters Players and Coaches:
- Players from outside of Wood County will be tested for COVID-19 and quarantined until results are returned.
- Coaches and players are encouraged to take their temperature before arriving at the ball park, and will have it recorded upon arrival at the field. Anyone with a fever will not be allowed in the facility until it subsides.
- Players and coaches are encouraged to wear masks outside of the field.
- Pitchers will sit in the bullpen, position players in the dugout.
- The Rafters Clubhouse will be sanitized daily.
- Baseballs and other items are not to be given to fans or thrown into the stands.
- Fans are asked to limit their contact with baseball teams, and encouraged not to ask for autographs.
Signage will be placed around the park to remind fans of ballpark guidelines. More information is available on the team website.