Astros welcome fans back, but not all follow the mask requirement

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Fans are back at Minute Maid Park with new safety rules, but not all fans were following them.

The 2021 Astros home opener felt, looked and sounded like any other year. There were packed sections of fans, full concourses, and all the ballpark food.

The sights, smells, and sounds are what Astros fans have waited 500 days for.

"Wow. Just the smell of the cracker jacks and the peanuts," said Astros fan Brandon Celestino. "It feels amazing."

Last year, fans weren't welcome at Minute Maid Park. But this season, it's different.

"It feels amazing, man," said Astros fan Michael Hernandez. "We've waited so long to come back to Minute Maid Park."

Fans are back, but it doesn't look the same as we're still in the middle of a pandemic. The capacity at Minute Maid is capped at 50%. There are some sections that look normal, and others where fans are socially distancing.

But that's not the only thing that's different. There are also new rules. Masks are required unless you're actively eating or drinking - a rule not everyone seemed to be following.

"Nobody is really wearing their masks," Celestino said. "Once they get to their seats, they take it off. It is what it is."

"Yeah, I feel like they should, so everything can go back to normal faster, and if someone has it, they won't spread it to anybody," Hernandez said.
There were plenty of fans wearing masks, but as we walked around the concourse, and went into sections, you could easily spot people not following the rules.

"We want to be here," said Astros fan Rachelle Hernandez. "I'll put on the mask. My kids are wearing masks. It is what it is."

These are safety guidelines fans want to see followed, so they can continue to cheer on their Astros in 2021.

"I felt like a little kid," Celestino said. "I felt like a field of dreams."

A field that's no longer a dream, but it's one that Astros fans can finally see in person again.



Follow Nick Natario on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.