MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — On a rainy Thursday, the Minnesota Twins started a new season with fans in the stands.

Only 10,000 people were allowed to attend, but excitement filled that stadium after a year of the pandemic.

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Fans poured into Target Field for the 3 p.m. game wearing masks, as rain fell on the seats spaced out for pods of two and four. This home opener looked very different than any other.

Dan and Roxanne Bungert were the first in line when gates opened an hour and a half before first pitch. They’re the die-hard kind of Twins fan.

“I was sitting in Florida at spring training at 10 a.m. waiting to get tickets,” Dan Bungert said.

This was the first time in 18 months people have been back in the stands for a Twins game. But it was the first Twins game and first birthday of little Luke, adding a member to a long-standing family tradition, according to Alex Majkrzak.

“We’ve been doing it for, oh gosh, 18 years, so to bring our little one with us is pretty great,” Majkrzak said.

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(credit: CBS)

In order to bring people back to the ballpark, changes needed to be made. Masks in the ballpark are mandatory, unless you’re eating or drinking. Also, your phone is your best friend at the ballpark because it can be used for contactless entry. And the MLB app can be used to order food and drinks at the concession stands and stadium restaurants.

This was the 12th home opener for Hector Holguin and his daughter.

“We were so excited when they said we could come back in. I mean, granted it’s only 10,000 fans, but better than nothing,” he said.

It was also mother-daughter day at the ballpark for Shelly and Aubrey Roell.

“I’m so excited. I never thought this day was going to come honestly,” Aubrey Roell said.

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People are perfectly spaced and distanced in their seats, and that’s intentional. There are zip ties on dozens of seats to keep groups safely apart.

Marielle Mohs