The Phillies are set to take on the Atlanta Braves at 3:05 p.m., and there's possibly no one who loves Opening Day more than Jennifer Stevenson.
Her routine for the last quarter-century is to hop in the car and drive down hours away from upstate New York.
"This will be my 26th year. Things are looking up and I think this gave us something to look forward to. When I pushed the button and got those tickets, it made my step lighter," said Stevenson.
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At the Phillies team store inside The Bank, Business Manager Francis Winkey says his team is ready.
"It's a holiday, my favorite day of the year," said Winkey. "We have limited edition Opening Day pins that are only available here at the ballpark. Having the staff back, me being back is great, and having the fans come back is going to be greater."
The feeling is shared over at the brand new Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia.
"After the year we've had it's like a dream come true," said Senior VP of Marketing Mario Maesano.
He says they're prepared to be entertainment central at their Center Bar. And they have virtual blackjack and roulette tables protected by dividers with real dealers you can watch on camera.
But he expects the biggest crowds at their Sports and Social FanDuel Lounge.
"You can come have a great meal, watch a game on any of the screens we have around here. Also, you can go to FanDuel and place some sports bets," said Maesano.
Of course, the South Philadelphia restaurants are ready, like Chickie's & Pete's.
"It's a step in the right direction. It's a lot of positivity, a lot of good energy flowing through," said General Manager Sean McGranaghan.
With the rain Wednesday the tables outside were empty. But that's all expected to change before, during and after Opening Day.
"It makes me feel great like we are getting a little normalcy back. Being isolated and away from everybody, it's a breath of fresh air," said Sanniyyah Blackwell of West Philadelphia.
Safety at the stadium
Phillies fans should be expected to follow all the COVID-19 safety protocols in place at the ballpark.
The team said the following protocols were developed in conjunction with Major League Baseball, the City of Philadelphia, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:
- Face Coverings:
- New Bag & Backpack Policy:
- Clean Team & Hand Sanitizer Stations:
- Cashless Points of Sale:
- Social Distancing:
- Mobile Ticketing:
- Easier Parking & Gate Entry; Plus, No Tailgating:
Guest are encouraged to visit the Phillies website for the latest before visiting the ball park.
Honoring frontline heroes
Outside Citizens Bank Park, dozens of local heroes on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic will be honored with large banners.
The banners are typically reserved for Phillies players, but they now feature the faces of 41 local frontline heroes.
"They are unquestionably our celebrities," says Michael Harris, the vice president of marketing and new media for the Phillies.
"There has been a segment of our population that has truly gone above and beyond, from doctors to nurses, first responders, teachers, school bus drivers, kitchen aides, delivery drivers, volunteers, mail carriers, and so many more," added Harris.
Opening Day roster
The Phillies have finalized their Opening Day roster for the 2021 regular season. The roster includes eight former All-Stars (19 total All-Star Game appearances), two MVPs and one Rookie of the Year Award winner.
The Opening Day roster includes 13 pitchers, two catchers, six infielders and five outfielders.
Right-handers - Chase Anderson, Archie Bradley, Connor Brogdon, Sam Coonrod, Zach Eflin, David Hale, Brandon Kintzler, Héctor Neris, Aaron Nola, Vince Velasquez and Zack Wheeler.
Left-handers - José Alvarado and Matt Moore.
Catchers (2): Andrew Knapp and J.T. Realmuto.
Infielders (6): Alec Bohm, Didi Gregorius, Rhys Hoskins, Brad Miller, Jean Segura and Ronald Torreyes.
Outfielders (5): Bryce Harper, Adam Haseley, Matt Joyce, Andrew McCutchen and Roman Quinn.