Braves plan promotions in hopes of fans’ return

No fans attended games at Truist Park (or other MLB stadiums) during the 2020 regular season.  Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com
Caption
No fans attended games at Truist Park (or other MLB stadiums) during the 2020 regular season. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: Curtis Compton

The Braves announced their promotional schedule for 2021 on Thursday, a signal that they’re planning – and hoping – for a full season with fans in the stands at Truist Park.

Whether that happens, and if so how many fans can be there, depends on the coronavirus pandemic and the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

But, preparing for the best, the Braves announced a lineup of promotions extending from the home opener April 9 to the final week of the regular season in September.

Highlights include a bobblehead commemorating Freddie Freeman’s 2020 MVP award for fans at the May 23 game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Other bobblehead giveaways: Ronald Acuna on June 2, Ozzie Albies on June 16 and Sept. 10, Max Fried on July 1, Travis d’Arnaud on Aug. 12, Mike Soroka on Aug. 23 and retired catcher Brian McCann on Sept. 28.

The bobbleheads will go to the first 15,000 fans through the gates on those dates, according to the Braves.

Among other promotions the Braves announced for the 2021 season are “Alumni Weekend” on May 21-23, “Hank Aaron Weekend” on July 30-Aug. 1, “Star Wars Night” on Aug. 6 and kids-only giveaway items at every Sunday home game. The full promotional schedule is available at braves.com/promotions.

No fans were allowed to attend MLB regular-season games last year because of the pandemic, but about 11,500 socially distanced fans were permitted at National League Championship Series and World Series games in Arlington, Texas.

The most fans that have been allowed at an Atlanta sports event since the start of the pandemic was a maximum of about 16,500 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the SEC Championship football game and the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.

Braves President and CEO Derek Schiller said last month that the team is “planning like we’re going to have a full house and a full schedule … and obviously we’re also making sure we’re ready for adjustments.”

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