To prepare for the home opener, PNC Park has seen some huge upgrades to meet COVID-19 safety protocols.By Nicole Ford

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The final touches are underway for a select number of fans in the stands at PNC Park.

“We are right at about 25 percent with that 6-foot distancing,” said Pirates President Travis Williams.

READ MORE: Pittsburgh Public Schools Announces 'Summer B.O.O.S.T.' Program To Address Pandemic Learning Gap

That percentage is about 8,000 to 9,000 people in groups of two or four. Williams told KDKA the best way to control the distancing was to sell the tickets in pods, which has upset some fans who want to fly solo or have odd-numbered groups.

“We are doing our hardest to get as many fans as possible in the building. I know it can be a little frustrating if you have a family of three. I try to encourage you to bring a neighbor or family member you feel safe with,” said Pirates Executive VP of Sales and Business Development David Burke.

For now, rows are closed, and the fan experience is going digital.

READ MORE: Westmoreland County Doctor Explains What Happens To Unused Coronavirus Vaccine Doses

“In order to limit touchpoints, we are going completely cashless throughout PNC Park. What does that mean? It means all concessions, clubs, points of sale in Fanatics are going to be cashless,” Williams said.

Plus, you’ll notice new signs to mark where to walk or sit and seating has moved out to make for wider concourses. Overall, the goal for the Pirates organization is safety.

“Make sure people feel comfortable coming back to the ballpark and enjoying baseball,” Williams said.

The organization is only selling tickets for the first two months of home games. As the CDC recommendations continue to change, Williams wants to be able to make changes and bring more people in if possible.

MORE NEWS: Busing Woes Continue For Hundreds Of Pittsburgh Public Schools Students

The home opener is this Thursday at 1:35pm.