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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea’s professional baseball league says it will require fans to wear masks, sit at least a seat apart and prohibit them from eating food in the stands as it prepares to bring back spectators in the coming weeks amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Korea Baseball Organization on Tuesday said teams will be initially allowed to sell only 30% of the seats for each game.

It said attendance could be expanded to as much as 50% depending on the progress in the country’s anti-virus efforts.

Fans will also be screened for fevers and discouraged from shouting, singing and cheering during the game. And perhaps as a means of discouraging any boisterous behavior, beer will also be banned and fans will only be allowed to drink water or non-alcoholic beverages.

They will be able to buy tickets only with credit cards so that health authorities could easily locate them when needed. South Korea has been actively tracing the contacts of virus carriers using credit-card information, cellphone location data and surveillance camera footage.

The KBO became one of the world’s first major sports competitions to return to action in May, but without fans in the stands. Seats have been covered with cheering banners, dolls or pictures of fans as teams tried to mimic a festive atmosphere.

Health authorities and sports ministry officials have been discussing preventative measures as they try to schedule a return of fans in baseball, soccer, golf and other sports. The plans could be announced as early as this week.

South Korea’s moves to re-admit fans in sporting events come despite a resurgence of the coronavirus in the Seoul metropolitan area, which is home to about half of the country’s 51 million population. Despite the steady rise in infections, government officials have been reluctant to enforce stronger social distancing guidelines out of concerns of further hurting a fragile economy.


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Just One Of Those Ballparks: Matt Kemp Loves To Hit At Coors Field

DENVER (CBS4)– It’s no secret. Matt Kemp loves to hit against the Colorado Rockies and he loves to hit at Coors Field.

“I see the ball really good here,” said Kemp. “I like the background, the batter’s eye with the trees, it’s just one of those ballparks that I can get locked in at.”

(credit: CBS)

The numbers support Kemp’s claims: In 178 games vs. the Rockies, Kemp has a .314 batting average, 46 home runs, 154 RBI and a .611 slugging percentage. All those numbers are the highest he has against any other team in his career.

“If I was struggling at any time and I knew we were coming to Colorado, I thought this was a place that I could really get locked in,” said Kemp.

At 35 years old, there is some question as to how much Kemp has left. Last year he played in only 20 games before being released by the Cincinnati Reds after hitting only .200. Kemp says a fractured rib plagued his 2019 season and even at his elevated age, he feels 35 years young.

“In 2018 I was an all-star, in 19 I got hurt,” Kemp explained. “I still have a lot to give. Right now I feel like I can still hit with the best of them and do what I have to do to help this team win. This is my chance to prove I can still play some baseball.”

(credit: CBS)

Kemp spent part of the off season working out with Nolan Arenado. Kemp says he’s always admired Nolan and the entire Rockies organization and he sees no reason why the guys on 20th and Blake can’t compete against the best teams in baseball.

“They (Colorado) have all the pieces here to compete with any team in baseball on the offensive side and defensive side,” exclaimed Kemp. “There’s a lot of weapons over here that can do some damage and they all complement each other. Just getting that whole thing working together and moving as one is going make this team even greater and they’re motivated to do that.”

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