ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – With no fans in the stands for the Tampa Bay Rays home opener, Ferg’s Sports Bar across the street was ready for a huge crowd. Owner Mark Ferguson transformed a parking lot into a seating and eating area and had tables properly socially distanced.
“We want to be the home field advantage for the Rays. Home and away games,” said Ferguson. “Come here and watch every game. “
Hours before the first pitch, Tom Hull and his adult son Tommy came to claim a good seat. Tom senior is pleased live sports are coming back.
“Thank God baseball is starting again. We’ve been waiting three, four long months,” said Hull. “We can’t wait for this game to get started.”
Ferguson also had employees post signs all over the bar and on every table letting customers know the only way to get served is to be seated and if they get up for any reason to walk around or use the restroom, they needed to put their masks on.
Employees wearing special yellow ‘social distancing’ t-shirts would be policing the property.
“We have plenty of people walking around and busing tables, checking to make sure you have a mask if you come inside and just a reminder to do the right thing,” said Ferguson. “Wash your hand when you go to the bathroom. Make sure you wear your mask when you go to the bathroom. You cannot get a beer or food unless you’re sitting at a table.”
The early evening rains drove most fans inside but didn’t drive away their spirit. Joey Lynn was also watching the game with friends.
“It’s great. It’s awesome. Live sports are back,” said Lynn. “We’re just all hanging out and enjoying the game. We’re watching it with each other but not really too close. Far enough away to be safe so it’s all good.”
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