By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Mar 04, 2021 at 9:56 AM

Baseball is back – and officially with fans as the Brewers announced today that the City of Milwaukee granted the team approval to start the season with fans in the stands at 25 percent capacity. 

With this new approval, when the Brewers host the Minnesota Twins on Opening Day – Thursday, April 1 – it'll mark the first time the team will play at home in front of fans since fall of 2019. Since that time, the Brewers have gotten new uniforms, resigned Christian Yelich and renamed the stadium

"This is an exciting day for us, as well as our fans and partners who we know are eager to return to American Family Field,” said Rick Schlesinger, Milwaukee Brewers President - Business Operations, in a release. “Our players repeatedly say that Brewers fans bring phenomenal energy to the game and are the critical piece of the ballpark atmosphere.

“We appreciate the cooperation of (City of Milwaukee Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson) and her staff as they reviewed our detailed plan to safely allow fans to watch the Brewers in person. Approval of the plan also allows us to bring much-needed jobs for members of our event staff and game-day workforce.

“We will continue to communicate with the city officials and work toward increasing the capacity if the health metrics continue to improve.”

The approved 25 percent capacity – which equals approximately 11-12,000 fans – is slightly less than the Brewers' reported first pitch to the City of Milwaukee, which asked for 35 percent capacity to start the season. Few specifics in terms of COVID protocols have been released yet, but in the original health and safety plan, reported strategies included heavy utilization of the retractable roof and side panels to bring new air constantly into the stadium, a new ventilation system and socially distanced ticket "pods."

The team did post some of its protocols for fans on its website, including wearing a mask at all times save for direct eating and drinking, social distancing and hand-washing, eating and drinking only in ones assigned seating area and no congregating. The most notable rule: While fans have been approved in the park, for the time being, tailgating in the stadium's lots has unfortunately not been approved for the start of the season. 

As for tickets, seat and suite holders will be contacted this week about their options, while information on single-game tickets will be announced later. In the meantime, stay tuned to OnMilwaukee for more updates – and toss out the cardboard cutouts because live fans are taking our seats back at the ballpark.

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.