It's Opening Day for the Astros! But you can't see them at home just yet

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Baseball is officially back Thursday!

For the first time since 1968, all 30 MLB teams are scheduled to start on the same day. The league is also on track to play a full 162-game slate this season.

The Astros will open their season on the road in Oakland at 9:07 p.m. Houston time.

Zack Greinke is expected to start on the mound for Houston. The A's are set to send out pitcher Chris Bassitt.

The Astros finished 19-21 against AL West Division opponents in 2020. Houston averaged 8.0 hits with 3.1 extra base hits per game and 12 total triples last season.

But before the guys headed west for Thursday night's game, they got their COVID-19 vaccine shots.

After wrapping up spring training in Florida on Monday, the Astros stopped in Houston Sunday night after vaccines became available through their partnership with Houston Methodist Hospital.

Monday was the first day that anyone age 16 and older in Texas was eligible to receive the vaccine. The team did not provide details on which vaccine its players and staff would receive.

"We're coming to Houston to get our shots today and then work out tomorrow and then go to Oakland on Tuesday night," manager Dusty Baker said.

Baker, 71, received both doses of the vaccine before arriving to spring training in February. It's unclear how many players and staff opted to receive the vaccine.

Even though fans are welcome back in the stands, the crowd size will vary across the league.

At Minute Maid Park, the max capacity is 50%. Fans won't get to experience seeing the 'Stros in person this season until April 8, the home opener.

But star third baseman Alex Bregman wants to see fans so bad, he's giving away tickets. Sort of.

To be exact, Bregman is giving the chance to win two tickets to the home opener.



Still, single-game tickets for home games in April are on sale now and can be purchased through the Astros website or by calling 1-877-9ASTROS (927-8767).

SEE ALSO: Houston Astros welcome fans back to Minute Maid Park in 2021

So, what can fans expect as the Astros settle into another season played during the pandemic? Here's what the team has announced.

What tickets are on sale?

Tickets are available in all sections, including some sections with physically distanced seating pods.

Seats adjacent to the field will be sold, as they have for a standard season. Seats adjacent to the dugouts and bullpens will be separated from the field by plexiglass.

What capacity is in place for 2021?

To keep guests physically distanced while in the stadium, Astros games will not exceed 50% capacity during the month of April.

What matchups are on sale?

The Astros will re-open Minute Maid Park to the general public on April 8, for the Astros Home Opener vs. the Oakland Athletics, with a first pitch set for 7:10 p.m. CT.


The Home Opener is the first game of a three-game series between the division rival Astros and A's (April 8-10).

Houston will also host the Tigers for three (April 12-14), Angels for four (April 22-25) and the Mariners for four (April 26-29) in the month.

Are masks required?

Masks are required at all times within Minute Maid Park unless actively eating or drinking. Eating and drinking is only permitted at your ticketed seat (not the general concourse).

What about bags? Can I bring them in?

Bags will not be allowed in the venue.

Exceptions are manufacturer designed diaper bags, when accompanied by an infant or small child, medical bags, and gallon bags used for bringing food or water into the building.

This policy applies to all guests and will allow for reduced touching of bag items in the entry process.
Guests that bring a diaper or medical bag will be required to utilize one of the bag check lanes and may encounter delayed entry.

What can I expect when entering?

All fans will be subject to a verbal health screening upon arrival. Guests will be asked to physically distance while waiting in the gate queue line. The Astros will utilize screening equipment, such as walkthrough metal detectors and tables, at the entry gates in ways to better facilitate physical distancing while performing security screening.

All entry gates will be open two hours prior to the start of the game.

Can I pay for purchases using cash?

Concessions have gone cashless at all points of sale. To help customers who arrive with cash only, the Astros will have reverse ATMs in the stadium which will change cash into an Astros themed debit card.

Will the roof be open more often for safety concerns?

The Minute Maid Park roof will be open or closed based on weather concerns, like we've operated in the past. The stadium's air conditioning system cools outside air, rather than recirculating air from inside the stadium. For this reason, the Astros can operate the roof as we would for a standard season.

SEE ALSO: Texas Rangers in line to be 1st team back to full capacity
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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