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Rumble Ponies staff putting finishing touches on stadium ahead of season

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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- With the Rumble Ponies home opener less than two weeks away, the staff is working on the final preparations at NYSEG Stadium.

The Rumble Ponies arrive in town this weekend and head to Akron for the first series of the season early next week.

Between now and the home opener on May 11, Rumble Ponies managing director John Bayne said there are a lot of little things to be done.

"Mainly we have the team coming in this weekend so we have a lot of sanitation to do, a lot of cleaning," he said. "The stadium hasn't been used for 18 months, so there's a lot of little things that need to be done around here so just getting the stadium ready for the players, staff and ultimately the fans to have a great fan experience."

Fans will be allowed into NYSEG Stadium at a limited capacity this season. The Rumble Ponies are following state and CDC guidelines.

Bayne said right now the stadium is allowed to be at 33% capacity, which he said should be around 1,700-1,900 people.

"The fact that we're going to have fans is really the most important thing," he said. "We're going to put people in pods of one to eight. Have six feet of social distancing, masks required when you're not in your seat. We're going to follow what we have in front of us."

Fans will also have to show proof of a negative COVID test or vaccination card upon entry, as mandated by the state.

In addition, Bayne said they have a new "fan food" app this season, so if people want to order from their seats instead of going to concession stands, they can.

He also said one of the changes this season is that there is a 12-foot buffer zone around the dugout, where fans will not be allowed.

Between the 2020 season getting canceled and the year of uncertainty about the team's status in Binghamton, Bayne said he encourages everyone to come out to games this season.

"We have made sure fans, players and staff are safe. This is going to be a great place to be," said Bayne. "Come May 11 I think the fans, I think this community and especially my staff. We're really pumped for opening day," said Bayne.

The Rumble Ponies home opener is May 11 at 6:35 p.m. as the Altoona Curve come to town.

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Nicole Menner

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