MADISON, Ala. – When the Rocket City Trash Pandas begin playing in north Alabama on May 11, there will be a few things fans need to know.
Friday, stadium officials announced Toyota Field will be completely cashless. Trash Pandas CEO and owner Ralph Nelson says this is just one way to ensure the safety of the fans.
“We’re going to cashless transactions which is very, very sanitary,” Nelson told News 19.
All major credit and debit cards will be accepted across the stadium, including concessions, The Junkyard Team Store, the ticket office, and the parking lot.
Mobile payment options, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay will also be accepted stadium-wide, except for the ticket office.
For fans who don’t carry credit or debit cards, Trash Cash cards can be purchased with cash at The Junkyard or the guest services booth, as well as online in advance of game day. The stadium’s in-house form of payment, Trash Cash can be used for concessions, merchandise, and tickets. Unused balances on the cards will roll over from game to game and the cards are reloadable.
Parking will be done through the Clutch app (download for iOS here, Google Play here). Fans purchasing parking in advance will receive a discounted rate of $6/vehicle; paying at the entrance will cost $10/vehicle.
For the 2021 season, the stadium will also implement a clear-bag policy. While bags are discourgaed from being brought into the stadium, bags will be permitted, subject to a search and the following guidelines:
- One clear bag no larger than 12″ x 6 ” x 12″
- One gallon-size, clear freezer bag
- One small clutch bag or purse no larger than 6.5″ x 4.5″
Some exceptions will be made for fans with health needs and parents bringing infants to games, according to stadium officials.
All fans will pass through a metal detector when entering the stadium.
MLB, who manages the minor league teams now, sent a memo to all the farm teams, saying the league will defer to local authorities regarding stadium capacity. For Trash Pandas fans, this means stadium capacity will be subject to guidelines from the State of Alabama and Alabama Department of Public Health.
However, MLB has said masks will be required at all games (except when eating) and teams must build a plexiglass buffer zone around the dugouts and bullpens to protect players.
“We’re gearing up to have a full house here on opening day and the games thereafter. So, we’re doing certain things to take care of our fans.”
Nelson adds that the fans are so excited he doesn’t see the guidelines being a problem.
MLB will strictly enforce the masking rule – for both stadium employees and fans – and Toyota Field will be enforcing social distancing in lines at stadium entrances, concessions, and in The Junkyard.
“It is going to be so exciting to finally get minor league baseball back here, people have been waiting for so long, that a little inconvenience, especially to the tune of safety, will be really good.”
Nelson says he sees the season is off to a great start and he’s confident that it will all head in the right direction.
“You know, we had 250,000 people at this ballpark last year and not one report of a COVID-19 infection. So, we know what we’re doing and we’ll continue to protect our fans.”
Stadium officials added more details on the masking policies and buffer zone will be released in the coming weeks.