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Dodgers' Treinen: Having fans at NLCS is 'step back toward normalcy'

MediaNews Group/Torrance Daily Breeze via Getty Images / MediaNews Group / Getty

When the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves step onto the field for Game 1 of the National League Championship Series on Monday, they'll be greeted by more than cardboard cutouts.

Around 10,500 fans will be in attendance at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, marking the first time during the 2020 season that a mass audience has attended an MLB game.

"It's definitely exciting," Dodgers right-hander Blake Treinen said, according to Jorge Castillo and Jack Harris of the Los Angles Times. "I think it's a step back toward normalcy, where people have the right to be free and make a choice to go out and do what they want to do. If they want to come to a ballgame, come to a ballgame. I know we've all welcomed it."

Teams played the majority of their 2020 games in empty stadiums, usually filled with cardboard cutouts and artificial fan noise. Playoff games have been slightly different, with players' families able to attend if they opt to stay in one of Major League Baseball's postseason bubbles.

The in-person audiences have remained small until Monday, when things should get more lively.

"The other night, after we won Game 3 (of the NLDS), and we were going to get on our bus, there were a handful of Dodgers fans outside the park cheering us on and telling us they were ready and going to be here Monday," Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner said. "So, we were already getting excited about it."

Globe Life Field, which will also host the World Series with fans in attendance, sold tickets in blocks of four. Fans at the park will be required to stay at least 6 feet apart from other groups, must wear face coverings, and will not be allowed within 20 feet of players and team staff.

Tarrant County, where Arlington is located, reported 794 coronavirus cases Sunday for the region's highest number since August, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Stefan Stevenson.

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