When the season opened on April 11 after a three-week delay, only players, team personnel and cheerleaders were allowed in the stadium. The league later proposed allowing 200 fans per game and the Centers for Disease Control gave clearance for 1,000, league spokesman Tai Si-song said.
But instead of dancing together in support of their teams, Guardian fans stood on their own moving to the cues of cheerleaders and mascots. Friends leaned across seats to talk to one another.
“There’s plenty of social distance here,” said Guardians fan Sun Ming, a 29-year-old finance sector worker from New Taipei City. “I think the disease prevention is quite effective and therefore we can have this chance to attend the game.”
The Taiwan league has five teams and started its season ahead of professional baseball in Japan, South Korea and the United States.
As of Friday, stadiums will leave three seats between spectators, even if they come in groups. Every second row will be left empty, ensuring no one coughs on someone else from behind. The league’s smallest stadium at 11,000 seats can accommodate 1,000 people with that spacing plan and without opening the bleachers, Tai said.
“If we were to add people, that would impinge on the safe space,” Tai said.