Columbus Crew SC announced Thursday that an "extremely limited" number of tickets will be sold for Sunday’s home match at MAPFRE Stadium against FC Cincinnati on Sept. 6.
The tickets were sold in priority waves with season ticket members, based on tenure, getting first dibs. Only 1,500 tickets were made available.
"It is limited in its numbers but it is still the ability to have people engaged in what is going on, on the pitch," Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer Steve Lyons said. "We are really excited."
The decision to let a limited amount of fans in goes against recommendations from the Columbus Public Health Department. Health leaders there are wanting there to be two declarations of a level one/yellow in Franklin County before spectators are allowed at sporting events.
"We are recommending not to have spectators until there are 2 declarations of level one/yellow," Myles Bell said. We continue to work with the Crew to help protect the health and safety of the players, staff and fans through prevention measures such as masks and social distancing."
Presale starts at 1 p.m. E.T. on Sept. 3, 2020. No tailgating will be permitted at the stadium.
“We are pleased to be able to welcome back an extremely limited number of supporters to MAPFRE Stadium for our upcoming rivalry match this weekend, and we are prepared to execute our Responsible Restart Plan. The health and safety of all individuals entering the building remains our top priority to ensure a safe continuation of the 2020 MLS season,” said Crew SC President and General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko.
All fans must wear a mask at MAPFRE Stadium. The Crew says they have designed their pod seating layout to ensure proper social distance.
Fans will also have to fill out a health assessment through their email before entering the stadium. The stadium will be divided into two zones. Fans can view their zone on their ticket. Signage will be posted showing where to go.
"Our fans are as important to how we execute this plan as the plan itself," Steve Lyons said. "We had to make this flexible and fluid. Part of this is just monitoring the situation and the environment, and knowing we can adjust."
Information about health and safety at the stadium can be found here.
With the last night's win against the Philadelphia Union, the Crew jumps back into first place in the MLS Eastern Conference. Columbus leads second-place Toronto FC by two points.
Sunday's match vs FC Cincinnati will be the third matchup between the rivals this season.