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Coronavirus forces changes to Major League Baseball spring training in Florida

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Spring training for Major League Baseball will have a different look this year in Florida.

"We turned the page and have been working on this for a while," said Mike Bauer, the general manager at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, spring training home to the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals.

Ballparks will not be filled to capacity this spring. Instead, there will be an effort to keep fans distanced.

"We'll have about 1,500 fans a day. All fans will sit in pods of one to six [people]. They'll be socially distanced with a minimum of 6 feet of distance around themselves and any other guests," said Matt Slatus, general manager at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, spring training home to the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros.

The plans for each ballpark had to be approved by MLB and include safety measures like cashless concessions and mask-wearing.

"We want to be safe. We want to have a building where people can come enjoy themselves and feel like they're in a nice safe environment," Bauer said.

Tickets at Roger Dean Stadium go on sale online first to season ticket holders Feb. 1 and then to the general public later in the month.

Tickets at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches went on sale Friday for season ticket holders and will be available to the general public Feb. 3.

"Beginning Feb. 27, the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals will play 30 games right here at the Ballpark of The Palm Beaches," Slatus said.

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